House Democrats have proposed legislation that would fund legal assistance for tens of thousands of minors illegally crossing into the United States, The Washington Times
The lawmakers say it would be "un-American" to let the children fend for themselves against the immigration system.
"Under our laws, we give the right to legal counsel to the most dangerous, hardened criminals in America," said California Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard. "Our bill simply gives vulnerable migrant children the same rights to counsel because tragically today, as you have heard, small children facing the prospect of deportation don't have this basic right," The Huffington Post
Federal law normally forbids use of taxpayer dollars to pay for legal representation on immigration matters. Applicants may hire private legal counsel.
Separately, the Justice Department
is seeking lawyers and paralegals to work pro bono in providing assistance to the children.
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