Child Refugees: Many Are Unrepresented by Lawyers

Deportations of children without lawyers on the rise.
Deportations of children without lawyers on the rise.

New data shows that large numbers of refugee children from Central America are being deported without being represented by an attorney. According to Politico:

One year later, child migrants from Central America are still paying a heavy price for President Barack Obama’s decision last summer to rush them into deportation proceedings without first taking steps to provide legal counsel.

New government data this week offer a first, full-year tally for the immigration courts, and the numbers show that among the 13,451 cases completed since July 18, 2014, barely half the children had legal representation.

…from July 18 to Dec. 23, 2014, for example, EOIR tallied 4,250 case completions, in which just 27 percent of the children had an attorney. By mid-April this year, that share had grown to about 40 percent. Just counting the cases completed from April through July, about 58 percent of the children impacted were assisted by counsel.

Among the cases completed since last summer, fully 57 percent resulted in removal orders or voluntary departure, according to EOIR. Overwhelmingly, children without attorneys have been most vulnerable…

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