Many countries in Central America are experiencing a wave of violence not seen since the civil wars of the 1980s. Honduras has the highest murder rate in the world; Guatemala and El Salvador are not far behind.(1)
In an act of desperation, tens of thousands of unaccompanied children have been sent on a perilous journey to the United States. Many have experienced unspeakable abuse and tragedy.
These child immigrants cannot afford legal representation, yet the Justice Department is bringing them before immigration judges anyway. In an outrageous statement, a senior Justice Department official has argued that child immigrants (some as young as three years old) are capable of defending themselves in court: "They get it. It’s not the most efficient, but it can be done." (2) That's just wrong.
Preschoolers should never be forced to appear in court and without legal representation. We're fighting to pass a law that would make sure that every child facing immigration proceedings has a lawyer.
Sign the petition and show your support right now!
(1) U.N. Office on Drugs and Crime, “Global Study on Homicide, 2013” (2013)
(2) Washington Post, “Can a 3-year old represent herself in immigration court? This judge thinks so.” (March 5, 2016)
Violence in Central America has sent young children fleeing for their lives, seeking safety in the United States. We should treat these children humanely. Preschoolers should never be forced to appear in court and without legal representation. It's time for Congress to make sure that every child facing immigration proceedings has a lawyer!
Note: This petition is sponsored by Rep. Xavier Becerra, Rep. Suzanne Bonamici, Rep. Suzan DelBene, Rep. Ruben Gallego, Rep. Joe Kennedy III, FL State Senator Darren Soto, OR State Rep. Jessica Vega Pederson, Arizona Democratic Party, CHC BOLD PAC, and Latino Victory Project. By signing, you may receive emails from these sponsors updating you on the progress of this campaign and other important projects. (You may, of course, unsubscribe at any time.)