Children Alone and Lawyerless in a Strange Land

September 23, 2013

Below is an excerpt from an op-ed written by Wendy Young via The Wall Street Journal:

We’ve seen 5-year-old immigrants in front of a U.S. judge, about to be sent back into harm’s way.

One of us is a former head of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement; the other is a longtime immigrant-rights advocate. This may make us unlikely allies, but the fundamental unfairness of the U.S. immigration system toward children—particularly the thousands of undocumented, unaccompanied minors who enter the country each year—is a uniting issue.

For a nation founded on the principles of due process and access to justice, we are grievously violating both when it comes to deporting undocumented immigrant children. There are no public defenders in our immigration system. Immigrants facing deportation must find and pay for their own lawyers to make their case before an immigration judge and counter a U.S. government attorney arguing for their deportation—regardless of their age.

Read the full article via The Wall Street Journal