Newspaper article International New York Times

Migrant Children in Court

Newspaper article International New York Times

Migrant Children in Court

Article excerpt

Children fleeing to the United States from Central America must have fair hearings before deportation.

In this time of political absurdity, can it be any surprise that a federal immigration judge insists that toddlers can represent themselves in immigration court? The judge, Jack Weil, did not appear to be joking when, in a deposition in a federal lawsuit, he told a lawyer from the American Civil Liberties Union: "I've taught immigration law literally to 3-year-olds and 4-year-olds. It takes a lot of time. It takes a lot of patience. They get it."

The suit seeks to have the government provide lawyers for the children as they go through immigration court. The children are part of an influx of families fleeing persecution in Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador.

The administration argues that it has no obligation to provide counsel for children in immigration court and refuses to acknowledge the injustice of having children too young to understand the legal process. …

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