SACRAMENTO - On Sunday, Governor Jerry Brown signed Senate Bill 873, a bill which will set aside $3 million to provide legal aid to refugee children fleeing endemic violence in their home countries. In response, the ACLU of California issued the following statement:
While the ACLU of California applauds California lawmakers and Gov. Jerry Brown for taking important steps to ensure that some children aren't forced to go unrepresented in immigration court, ultimately state efforts can only go so far: a comprehensive solution must come from the federal government. The Obama administration must step forward and do what is right: provide legal representation to all children facing deportation. Leaving children defenseless in immigration court falls short of due process and betrays our core values as a nation.
The majority of children in immigration court do not have legal representation and are navigating our country's complex immigration system alone. Many of them are entitled to protection under our law and would be granted relief if given a fair hearing with representation.