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Some say U.S. immigration law should change to help children

Standing in a Georgia courtroom defending one's right to live in the United States would undoubtedly be a stressful experience for most people. One can only imagine how much more distressing such circumstances would seem to a child of minor age. A current raging debate regarding U.S. immigration law and how it pertains to children has led advocates to call upon the government for change.

Some say many children attend detention proceedings unaccompanied by adult representation because they are financially unable to hire attorneys. It has been reported that a minor has a much higher chance of obtaining successful results in court if an attorney acts on his or her behalf. One group of children recently appealed to a circuit court, requesting that the government supply them with counsel.

The circuit court judge who heard the appeal determined that the children must not seek federal intervention to their problem without first exhausting all available options through the immigration court system. The judge also commented that she believes the government should take immediate steps to address the current crisis that is adversely affecting so many immigrant children. Some have suggested that programs be developed so that minors have access to pro bono legal services to assist them in court.

In Georgia, anyone facing challenging issues regarding U.S. immigration law may contact an immigration and naturalization attorney for guidance. Children obviously have needs that may differ from those of adults. An experienced attorney would be able to review a particular situation and offer suggestions as to how best to proceed to achieve positive solutions.

Source: Los Angeles Times, "Washington must address legal help for minors in immigration court.", Sept. 27, 2016

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