9th Circuit Upholds Decision On Lawyers For Immigrant Kids

January 30, 2018

The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that children from other countries do not have the right to a government-funded lawyer when they seek asylum in the United States.

The plaintiff in the case is a teenage boy only identified by the initials C.J. L. G. Court documents say he and his mother fled Honduras after he repeatedly refused to join a gang.

Once in the U.S., the mother could not afford an immigration lawyer. She sought asylum for her son, but the request was denied. So was a subsequent appeal.

On Monday, the 9th Circuit wrote that neither the Due Process Clause nor the Immigration and Nationality Act guarantee the boy the right to a court-appointed lawyer.

The judges concluded the boy will likely be deported, and said while their hearts are with him, the law is not.