WA State AG to Help Support ‘Wave’ Children in Deportation Hearings
Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson has asked the U.S. District court in Seattle for permission to file what is called an “amicus,” or “friend of the court” brief that would allow him to offer support for illegal immigrant children. They’re part of the recent “wave” of unaccompanied minors who have streamed over the U.S. Southern border this summer.
Ferguson’s action comes following a lawsuit filed July 9th, 2014 against the federal government for allegedly failing to provide legal representation for these thousands of children.
According to Ferguson’s brief:
“Ferguson believes that unaccompanied immigrant children — children under the age of 18 who are not accompanied by a parent or legal guardian when they are apprehended in the United States — should not be forced to represent themselves in complex deportation hearings in which the child’s future is at stake.”
Washington state is not a party to the lawsuit. Ferguson seeks to file a friend of the court brief because Washington has a significant interest in assuring that the unaccompanied immigrant children residing in our state receive full and fair hearings.”
So far, some 265 children have have settled with what are called “sponsors” in our state as of July 31st. of this year, according to the federal Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR).
While Washington state is not directly named in the lawsuit, filing a “friend of the court” brief will allow Ferguson to offer information, testimony and support for the children facing deportation hearings.
According to WA state immigration statistics, 41% of children who have some sort of legal representation have been able to avoid deportation, while only 4% of those who don’t are allowed to stay.