Unaccompanied Child Lawsuit Gets Federal Hearing, And It’s A Mess

Politico’s David Rogers has one of the better reports on that federal court hearing in Seattle over the issue of providing legal counsel to the unaccompanied children migrating to the U.S. from nations other than Mexico, and it was not pretty. Rodgers begin the story by noting that the case is “… dramatizing the split personality in the Obama administration over the question of providing counsel to child migrants faced with deportation hearings.”
He supports that statement by recalling that “… no less than Attorney General Eric Holder told the Senate last year that it is ‘inexcusable’ that young children “have immigration decisions made on their behalf, against them, whatever and they’re not represented by counsel. That’s simply not who we are as a nation.”
Somehow avoiding references to Kafka and/or Joseph Heller (we assume through sheer force of will), Politico offers this summary from one of the immigration experts: “That’s the genesis of the whole jurisdictional problem that we have here. It’s the reason why the counsel claim is always ruled out and can never be heard in the court of appeals. For children who have counsel, it’s moot because they have counsel. Children who don’t have counsel don’t have the ability to file a board of immigration appeal.”
Read more of the telling report here: Migrants’ right to counsel argued