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Immigration Law

Contract Dispute Over Legal Representation of Unaccompanied Migrant Minors May Clog Dockets

Ryan Grim, Jan. 18, 2015 - "Thousands of unaccompanied minors who came across the U.S. border as part of the migrant crisis are at risk of being deported without due process, the archbishop of Miami has warned the Obama administration.  Although the law dictates that these children must be given legal services, recent moves by the Office of Refugee Resettlement have thrown that into doubt.  ORR, which is an agency under the umbrella of Health and Human Services, awarded the U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants a contract to represent the children.  USCRI in turn planned to subcontract with a social services firm that employed zero attorneys at the time.  "Many of these cases are time sensitive, and if they do not receive immediate attention, the affected children face imminent deportation," Archbishop Thomas Wenski warned HHS Secretary Sylvia Burwell in a letter sent in October, and which The Huffington Post obtained last week.  Judges in Miami have privately warned that the move could jam up the court dockets for as long as a year."