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More Judges, Lawyers Needed for Refugee Moms, Kids

December 09, 2014 (1 min read)

"As unaccompanied immigrant minors flooded into the U.S. this summer, immigration lawyers and judges struggled to keep up.  The sheer number of minors arriving brought court scheduling problems, sudden changes in federal policy and more volunteers than legal aid organizations could handle.  Often, these could be traced back to long-standing problems with the immigration legal system, including chronic underfunding of the immigration courts and the lack of a right to court-appointed counsel.  "It's really stretching our capacity quite a bit," says Wendy Young, president at Kids in Need of Defense, a nonprofit that represents unaccompanied immigrant children.  "And I think there's a lot of tremendous goodwill in the legal community to do more pro bono for these kids.  But it's also important to have an infrastructure to support those volunteers." " - Lorelei Laird, ABA Journal, Dec. 1, 2014.