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Friday, July 11, 2014

Obama Administration Sued in Federal Court in Seattle Over Due Process for Immigrant Children

Posted by on Fri, Jul 11, 2014 at 5:15 PM

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As children fleeing violence in Latin America stream over the border by the thousands, the Los Angeles Times reports:

Immigrant advocacy groups sued the federal government on Wednesday for what they say is a failure to provide legal representation for immigrant children facing deportation.

In a class-action lawsuit filed in federal court in Seattle, attorneys for the groups allege that the government is violating due process by allowing some children to navigate the complex immigration legal system alone...

Many of the children never hire attorneys, appearing in court by themselves. Because immigration cases are civil, not criminal proceedings, defendants are not guaranteed the right to legal counsel.

Most of the groups filing the suit are national in stature—the ACLU, for example. So why are they suing in Seattle? Matt Adams, Legal Director for the Northwest Immigrants Rights Project, explains that two of the plaintiffs in the suit, which is seeking class-action status, live here now.

They can't be named because they are minors. One is a 15-year-old boy who was abused and abandoned by his family in Guatemala, Adams says. He struck out on his own and crossed the border, where he was detained and then released pending deportation proceedings to someone who knows his family living here in Seattle. The other is a 16-year-old from Mexico who's lived here with his mother since he was a baby, Adams says.

Another of the plaintiffs is a teenage girl who fled El Salvador after being threatened by gang members. Several live in other areas of Washington.

There are far more children, facing similar circumstances as the aforementioned kids, than groups like NWIRP have the capacity to represent pro-bono, according to Adams. The majority of them, including most of the 52,000 unaccompanied kids who've crossed the border between last October and this June, go before judges without any representation. The government, meanwhile, is always represented with an attorney, often seeking a deportation order.

Adams says the groups held off filing the lawsuit for months, waiting for reforms to the immigration system that haven't arrived. And while the Obama administration's request for new funds to hire lawyers for a portion of the children is a heartening move, he says, it's unlikely to get through Congress. "We’re at the point where we need actions more than words." The first hearing in the case is expected within the next few months.

 

Comments (30) RSS

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1
I dont get why any of all the compassionate liberals in our great country dont adopt or foster these kids.
Posted by Tim Keck and Dan Savage are the 1% on July 11, 2014 at 6:17 PM · Report this
2
Ansel, this lack of legal representation has been true for decades. Obama is the first president to ask for funds. Why did you find it necessary to make "Obama" the first word in your headline?
Posted by sarah70 on July 11, 2014 at 7:56 PM · Report this
3
"One is a 15-year-old boy who was abused and abandoned by his family in Guatemala, Adams says. He struck out on his own and crossed the border..."
Um, the US doesn't border Guatemala. He would have to travel through the entire country of Mexico. Why aren't agencies in Mexico helping him. We are supposed to take every teenager on the planet who claims to be abused and abandoned by their parents?

"Another of the plaintiffs is a teenage girl who fled El Salvador after being threatened by gang members."
People are not threatened by gang members in America/ About 80 people have been killed by them in Chicago in the last week.

Posted by thetruthhurts9 on July 11, 2014 at 9:01 PM · Report this
Posted by Ansel Herz on July 11, 2014 at 10:07 PM · Report this
5 Comment Pulled (Trolling) Comment Policy
6
Humanity's failure to provide for the basic needs of all children including food, shelter, security, and love is a moral outrage.

The United States' failure to provide for the basic needs of all children including food, shelter, security, and love is a moral outrage.

Washington State's failure to provide for the basic needs of all children including food, shelter, security, and love is a moral outrage.

Seattle's failure to provide for the basic needs of all children including food, shelter, security, and love is a moral outrage.

My failure to provide for the basic needs of all children including food, shelter, security, and love is a moral outrage.

I had a very disturbing encounter with two sweet and wounded African-American eight-year-old boys in the park today. I was at the playground with my son. I noticed these two boys playing very nicely (if rambunctiously) with younger children at the playground. I started chatting with them. I found out that they were there alone. I found out that they lived in a shelter. I found out that their mothers weren't around much I found out that they considered each other better than brothers. I found out that one of them lived with his grandfather until he witnessed his murder while hiding under a bed. I found out he saw the brains come out of his grandfather's head. I found out that he was very scared. I found out that his major life lesson so far is that you can't let "bullies" push you around. That you have to fight back. You can't let people mess with you. It's a moral outrage not that an eight-year-old holds these views, but that in his world he's probably right.

Bringing this back to immigration, we have to help these children who have made their lonely, dangerous, and desperate journeys to our country.. I don't care about the economic consequences to our country. I don't care about what incentives that sets up for other child immigrants. It is our moral duty to help these children. As long as children are in such dire situations that smuggling themselves into the United States is their best option, we need to help those children. What the fuck is the point of being a rich country if we can't help a terrified lonely nine-year-old who is all alone?
More...
Posted by ohthetrees on July 12, 2014 at 12:14 AM · Report this
7
Trollboy is right this is no different then all those disgusting Irish, Pollacks, Wops, Chinks, etc... rushing our boarders 100 years ago. We need to stop this NOW no more, America does not and never has aspired to be the country that proclaims

"Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name Mother of Exiles.
From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
“"Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!"” cries she
With silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

Nope that's not US no that's not the good old US of A. None of our ancestors came here that way.

Posted by Machiavelli was framed on July 12, 2014 at 12:22 AM · Report this
8
"I had a very disturbing encounter with two sweet and wounded African-American eight-year-old boys in the park today. "

Ahhhhh cute, look at the guilty white lady!
Posted by Give her a cookie and sob story on July 12, 2014 at 8:26 AM · Report this
9
I'm starting to avoid Ansel's posts. First the totally justified shooting of the fare-dodging felon, and now making this about Obama. These are troll posts, not real journalism.
Posted by originalcinner on July 12, 2014 at 8:59 AM · Report this
Max Solomon 10
i wish they'd file a suit against the GOP, as well.
Posted by Max Solomon on July 12, 2014 at 9:04 AM · Report this
COMTE 11
@9:

It doesn't matter that this has been going on for decades. It doesn't matter that other presidents have established these policies. Obama is our president NOW. We hold him to a higher standard than his predecessors; we expect more from him, and this is just one area of executive policy where he's letting us down. We don't hate him, we just want him to do BETTER, because we believe - we know - he CAN.
Posted by COMTE on July 12, 2014 at 9:15 AM · Report this
12
Anusel is the Ultimate Social Justice Warrior and White-Knighter!

Way to go, Anusel!
Posted by My Anusel Hurtz on July 12, 2014 at 9:29 AM · Report this
JonnoN 13
well put @11. Obama has deported record numbers of people in the name of "bipartisanship", see how far that's gotten...
Posted by JonnoN http://www.backnine.org/ on July 12, 2014 at 10:01 AM · Report this
14
@7- This country has not had open immigration for many decades now, including when my great grandparents immigrated. Yes, in the 1650's there was no immigration authority in America, or anywhere else on the planet. Today every country has hoops you have to jump through to get into the country whether you are visiting or want to be made a citizen. Why is it so noble that millions of people are outraged that they have to follow the same rules my grandparents did? Why is it a civil rights violation that they have to follow the same immigration rules that everyone who got here after about 1900 has to/
Posted by thetruthhurts9 on July 12, 2014 at 10:03 AM · Report this
15

I agree these Citizens of Mexico, Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala need attorneys.

But the target of their lawsuits should not be the USA but their countries of origin and the people who displaced them.

Each of these nations has a constitution with some rights specified.

It is up to their nations of origin to foot the bill for their hardships.

And these nations now have very many wealthy people and social wealth. That is who should be footing that bill, not the harried middle class American who finds his schools overcrowded and his house prices inflated.

Posted by Supreme Ruler Of The Universe http://_ on July 12, 2014 at 10:13 AM · Report this
16 Comment Pulled (Spam) Comment Policy
17
@13

Know who gets deported, Johnny? That's right buddy! People who are violating our laws being here at all.

Finding a solution to the problem of displaced children cooperatively with the governments of their home country, may be a problem needing solved. But if Obama did one thing right in a sea of ideological bullshit as president in deporting adult criminals violating our immigration laws I'll have to reluctantly conclude he actually can do the right thing. It's apparently only that he doesn't usually want to.

There's no partisan issue in enforcing, as the president of the US, the laws of the US.
Posted by Seattleblues on July 12, 2014 at 12:30 PM · Report this
seatackled 18
@17

It's been said that folks from Catholic countries tend to be more "traditional" and supportive of "traditional" families and "traditional" sex relations. So letting in the Latinos might be the only hope you have of not having to move to Russia or Uganda in order to enjoy the heterosexual paradise of your dreams.
Posted by seatackled on July 12, 2014 at 4:47 PM · Report this
19 Comment Pulled (Trolling) Comment Policy
ɥsɐןɯouǝʌ 20
@17: You violate laws and brag about it to us. Maybe it's that you only obey laws that you personally approve of...
Posted by ɥsɐןɯouǝʌ on July 12, 2014 at 10:32 PM · Report this
21
#18

That's probably the real reason for this "operation" -- destroying the last vestiges of hetero lifestyle. Eventually all the immigrant females will be indoctrinated to trim their hair into pixie cuts, gain 300 lbs on corn syrup, cover their arms with tattoos and become man-haters.

Posted by Supreme Ruler Of The Universe http://_ on July 13, 2014 at 8:09 AM · Report this
seatackled 22
@21

I sense that you've just described your mother and sisters.
Posted by seatackled on July 13, 2014 at 11:24 AM · Report this
23
@18

97% of people aren't afflicted with the sickness of homosexual inclinations.

I already live in your so called heterosexual paradise. Nor do I wish the mentally ill legally punished for their condition. I'd rather see them helped to a healthy understanding of human sexuality. You know, like 97% of people already get?

It's when the mentally ill demand I treat their sickness as health, celebrate their sickness as marriage or blackmail the majority with false and laughable cries for am equality these same mentally ill folks
already possess I get grumpy.

Since about the most basic and instinctive human behavior, sexuality, is so incomprehensible to you, I can see where everything else would be. But I didn't call for no immigration. Indeed, for the reasons you state, albeit childishly in unnecessary quotes, I like immigration. Hard working people who understand the need for family and personal responsibility? Bring them in. Legally. If your first act on entering this country is to habitually flout our laws, go on home.

Not hard to understand really. Well for rational people.
Posted by Seattleblues on July 13, 2014 at 12:05 PM · Report this
seatackled 24
@23

No, you don't live in the heterosexual paradise of your imagination. Otherwise you wouldn't get so worked up. I mean, seriously, three and a half paragraphs to respond to a little dig at you? You protest too much.
Posted by seatackled on July 13, 2014 at 2:12 PM · Report this
25
Thanks for the coverage, Ansel. Notwithstanding the insane trolling-- from someone working in the field it is a sound assessment to say that this moment is unique (in the numbers pressing the existing system) and that Obama is shrinking from regarding this as the refugee crisis it is (supported by multiple studies including the UNHCR's excellent "Children on the Run") in not providing appointed counsel for all vulnerable children in removal proceedings while at the same time asking congress to loosen the law that compels trafficking screenings and other basic protections for unaccompanied children.

Orgs like NWIRP and KIND in Seattle are meanwhile doing great work to connect kids with pro bono representation. Worth checking out and supporting.

Posted by efp on July 13, 2014 at 2:15 PM · Report this
venomlash 26
@23: The American Psychological Association and American Psychiatric Association agree that homosexuality is not a mental illness. An illness, by definition, is maladaptive. What exactly is maladaptive about The Gay? What are the detrimental symptoms of it? No, the fact that homosex is icky doesn't count as maladaptive.
Posted by venomlash on July 13, 2014 at 2:56 PM · Report this
27
@25 Damn straight. It is a refugee crises and Obama is hedging back from calling it such. It is also true that legislation passed overwhelmingly by both the House and Senate, signed by G.W.Bush is the hole in the fence these children are running through.

I suspect Obama is hedging on calling it what it is in order to feed the Republicans rope to hang themselves with prior to the midterms. Yes that is cynical but hey, ya know the Republicans will do just that. In the meantime there are lots of quiet steps he can take to help and lay the ground work for a more comprehensive solution.

Subhumanblues, you are no American, no Patriot, and no Christian. You are a frightened child hiding under a blanket of willful ignorance and vitriol.

Posted by Machiavelli was framed on July 13, 2014 at 6:55 PM · Report this
28
Fabulous Op Ed on the subject in the NYT this week: http://mobile.nytimes.com/2014/07/13/opi…
Posted by efp on July 13, 2014 at 7:36 PM · Report this
29
@27

Your deep concern with the decorum I exhibit would be a tiny bit more convincing if that moral outrage extended to your fellow ideologues. As it is the (nonexistent) anger, vitriol, fear and so on I (don't) show in writing or feel in reality can't begin to compare with many writers here.

And the glee you've shown in vulgar, debased, hateful and bigoted comments with which you agree make your criticism of even less value.

I, unlike your buddies and you, like this country, it's values and majority faith that informs them, the capitalist approach to economics, and the foundational documents on which we're formed.

So if that's not American, is hatred of all the things that made this nation the best country on the planet, ala lefty loonies? If it's not Christian to believe in the core ideas that define that faith, is your apostasy the true faith? If it's childish to ask of others to make their own way in life with the help of family and friends and the business associates they've cultivated by hard work and competence, is it adult to be a whimpering baby asking for a cradle to grave nanny government?
Posted by Seattleblues on July 14, 2014 at 8:44 AM · Report this
venomlash 30
@29: "the (nonexistent) anger, vitriol, fear and so on I (don't) show in writing or feel in reality"
"Keep it up pervert faggots! Let decent Americans know that there really is no stopping point in your incessant demands to be priviledged citizens with the right to force others to your minority agenda. Yesterday marriage, today the thought police (albeit in flamboyant dress with a silly lisp...)"
"But if fags and dykes want to declare war on everything that makes our culture worthwhile, even that makes it work, then I feel no compunction in treating them with the contempt they deserve."
(Source)
If you don't call THAT anger, vitriol, or fear, I wonder what qualifies as that? Please, tell me where on SLOG anyone has said something so awful about Christians or whatever.

"I, unlike your buddies and you, like this country, it's [sic] values and majority faith that informs them, the capitalist approach to economics, and the foundational documents on which we're formed."
If you actually supported our way of governing and our cultural identity, you'd respect the rule of law and popular sovereignty. Instead, you insist that the ACA is illegal and unconstitutional even though the true authorities on the matter (namely, the Supreme Court of the United States) have said otherwise, and insist that your delicate sensibilities should overrule the majority of Americans who agree that gay marriage should be allowed.

"If it's not Christian to believe in the core ideas that define that faith, is your apostasy the true faith?"
According to you it is. I don't see you selling your possessions, giving freely to the poor, and living a life of asceticism. (Matthew 19)

"If it's childish to ask of others to make their own way in life with the help of family and friends and the business associates they've cultivated by hard work and competence, is it adult to be a whimpering baby asking for a cradle to grave nanny government?"
You again make the calculated error of assuming that everyone is equally privileged. Not everyone has parents who can help them out. Not everyone has access to a good education. Not everyone has equal opportunity. You think we as a country should abandon those less fortunate than us. I think we should give them a helping hand, to fund their higher education so that they can be honest professionals, to provide relief from starvation so that they can better themselves rather than sinking into the day-to-day struggle to survive in which no thought can be given to becoming productive members of society. In this respect I, a Jew, am a little more Christian than you.
More...
Posted by venomlash on July 14, 2014 at 11:44 AM · Report this

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