Access to Counsel

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How Can a 3-Year-Old Represent Himself in Court?

How Can a 3-Year-Old Represent Himself in Court?

By Beth Werlin, American Immigration Council & Kristin Macleod-Ball, American Immigration Council at 5:28pm
Each week, in immigration courts across the United States, hundreds of children, some as young as a few months old, come before immigration judges and are called upon to defend themselves against deportation. Among them is Arturo,* a three-year-old who arrived at the United States border in April 2014 because family members feared for his life in El Salvador. Although he is only a toddler, the government has put Arturo into deportation proceedings on his own. He has no attorney to help him explain to the court why he should not be deported.
Their Lives Depend on It: Every Unaccompanied Child Needs a Lawyer

Their Lives Depend on It: Every Unaccompanied Child Needs a Lawyer

By Layla Razavi, Regional Advocacy and Policy Counsel, ACLU at 1:21pm

At first glance, the kids I met at the Ft. Sill military base in Lawton, Oklahoma, seemed like ordinary teenagers. They wore friendship bracelets they'd made in arts and crafts. Boys had baseball caps and girls had brightly colored nail polish with…

Death and Abuse at the Southwest Border

Death and Abuse at the Southwest Border

By Lia G. Melikian, ACLU at 4:20pm

As Congress debates how to respond to children's migration from Central America, we must not forget that Customs and Border Protection is in dire need of improved oversight and accountability. Here are three examples of how the system is failing and…

Artesia

Afraid, Lawyerless, and Warehoused: The Mothers of Artesia

By Vicki B. Gaubeca, ACLU of New Mexico at 4:46pm

The road to Artesia from Las Cruces, New Mexico, is a scenic three-hour drive past pristine white sand dunes, through chilly, foggy mountain ranges, and across flat, open pampas spotted with yucca plants. Artesia, itself, is a dusty town of around…

The Kids Aren't Alright: America Fails to Protect Youth in Crisis

The Kids Aren't Alright: America Fails to Protect Youth in Crisis

By Sarah Mehta, Researcher, ACLU Human Rights Program at 4:40pm

Earlier this year, I sat in an immigration office in Nogales, Mexico, surrounded by children who had just been deported from the United States. All of the children I spoke with, ranging in age from 11 to 17 years old, traveled to the United States…

Children Shouldn’t Be Left Alone in Immigration Court

Children Shouldn’t Be Left Alone in Immigration Court

By Sandra Hernandez, ACLU of Southern California at 10:39am

Eleven-year-old Luisa was too young to apply on her own for a visa to come from Guatemala to the United States where she hoped to be reunited with her mother. But since federal immigration authorities detained her last year in Texas, Luisa has learned…

The Constitution Applies to All Americans, No Matter What They Are Accused Of

The Constitution Applies to All Americans, No Matter What They Are Accused Of

By Anthony D. Romero, Executive Director, ACLU at 12:28pm

Our country has been shaken by the events coming out of Boston in the past week. First, of course, there was the tragedy and loss of life...

Breaking the Addiction to Incarceration: Weekly Highlights

Breaking the Addiction to Incarceration: Weekly Highlights

By Alex Stamm, ACLU Center for Justice at 2:27pm

Today, the U.S. has the highest incarceration rate of any country in the world. With over 2.3 million men and women living behind barsour imprisonment rate is the highest it’s ever been in U.S. history.

Hitting Two Birds with One Stone: Strategies for Addressing the Indigent Defense Crisis and Overincarceration

Hitting Two Birds with One Stone: Strategies for Addressing the Indigent Defense Crisis and Overincarceration

By Vanita Gupta, Center for Justice & Steve Hanlon, Partner, Holland & Knight at 1:07pm

Earlier this year, the Orleans Parish Defenders Office (OPD), which represents more than 80 percent of criminal defendants in Orleans Parish and handled 30,000 cases in 2011, faced a particularly severe fiscal crisis.

Breaking the Addiction to Incarceration: Weekly Highlights

Breaking the Addiction to Incarceration: Weekly Highlights

By Alex Stamm, ACLU Center for Justice at 2:05pm

Today, the U.S. has the highest incarceration rate of any country in the world. With over 2.3 million men and women living behind bars, our imprisonment rate is the highest it’s ever been in U.S. history.

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