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Illegal EncountersThe Effect of Detention and Deportation on Young People$
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Deborah Boehm and Susan Terrio

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781479887798

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: September 2019

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9781479887798.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM NYU Press SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.nyu.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of NYU Press Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in NYSO for personal use.date: 24 September 2021

Representing Unaccompanied Children

Representing Unaccompanied Children

(p.114) Reflections Representing Unaccompanied Children
Illegal Encounters

Wendy Young

Megan McKenna

NYU Press

The authors chronicle the long-term lack of due process for unaccompanied children in the U.S. immigration system. Current immigration law treats children as “little adults” with nominal recognition of their unique needs, vulnerabilities, and best interests. Approximately half of unaccompanied children in deportation proceedings were without attorneys in 2017, and more than 70 percent lacked representation in 2014, demonstrating the lasting effects of those who have already moved through detention and immigration proceedings and the challenges that children continue to face. The unprecedented increase in the number of children coming to the United States, which peaked in the summer of 2014 and was deemed a humanitarian crisis by President Obama, sparked changes in the system and resulted in more access to pro bono representation. At the same time, funding limits and a stalemate in the U.S. Congress posed new challenges as an increasingly political spotlight was placed on child arrivals, their motivations for leaving home and the treatment of these children. This chapter outlines the history of the U.S. government’s approach to unaccompanied children, changes in legal representation, and the challenges to full representation that persist as children move through U.S. legal regimes..

Keywords:   immigration, unaccompanied minors, legal representation, due process, U.S. immigration law

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