Letter to the Editor: Newsday

April 15, 2015

Letter to the Editor in response to the April 8, 2015 article, Report: 39,000 immigrant kids coming to U.S.

It’s no surprise that unaccompanied children continue to come to the United States in large numbers. As noted in this article, the root cause of these children’s flight — brutal violence in their home countries — remains unchanged.

The article fails to mention, however, another crisis they face in the United States: the due process emergency in which roughly 70 percent of these children are unrepresented by counsel in their deportation proceedings. This includes children as young as 3, girls who have been gang-raped and must share that experience in court, and teens who have fled gangs threatening to kill them because they do not wish to join.

While New York has made significant efforts to help ensure unaccompanied children have access to counsel, more must be done.


Wendy Young, Washington

Editor’s note: The writer is the president of Kids in Need of Defense, an advocacy organization for unaccompanied children.