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Leading Democratic House Members Introduce Legislation To Aid Children Fleeing Violence

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Earlier today, House Democrats held a press conference to introduce the “Fair Day In Court For Kids Act,” legislation to ensure vulnerable children in immigration proceedings receive access to legal counsel.

“We have a moral obligation to ensure these children and other vulnerable populations seeking our nation’s protection receive due process, and are not merely deported back to the dangers and the terrors they risked so much to escape,” said Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard at this morning’s press conference.

“The Fair Day in Court for Kids Act would help us meet that obligation. It reflects our American values of fairness and justice.”

Rep. Roybal-Allard was joined by her colleagues Rep. John Conyers, Rep. Zoe Lofgren, Rep. Luis Gutierrez, and Rep. Judy Chu, who are among the 54 House Democrats who cosponsored the legislation.

From Rep. Roybal-Allard’s office:

Under current law, there is no right to appointed counsel in immigration removal proceedings, even if the respondent is a child. Statistics show that the overwhelming majority of children without attorneys are ordered deported, while children with attorneys are five times more likely to be granted protection. Advocates assert that a child’s constitutional right to “due process” cannot be met without legal representation.

Video of the press conference featuring the members of Congress introducing the “Fair Day In Court For Kids Act” is available here.