21:32 GMT +325 June 2019
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    A group of young migrants from Honduras and El Salvador who crossed the U.S.-Mexico border illegally as they are stopped in Granjeno, Texas (File)

    US Refuses to Provide Lawyers for Children, Thousands Ordered Deported

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    Thousands of children in deportation hearings in the US must stand alone before government lawyers and judges, according to US immigration researcher at HRW, Clara Long.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — Scores of children who have entered the United States illegally face the deadly threat of deportation from a court system that requires minors to appear before judges without a lawyer, advocacy group Human Rights Watch (HRW) said in a press release on Monday.

    "Thousands of children in deportation hearings in the US must stand alone before government lawyers and judges," US immigration researcher at HRW, Clara Long, said. "These hearings are incredibly complex and the consequence of losing is the potentially deadly threat of deportation."

    The release coincided with HRW’s filing of a friend of the court brief, or amicus brief, in a nationwide class-action lawsuit on behalf of children facing deportation.

    More than 28,000 unaccompanied children from the Central American nations of El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras crossed into the United States from Mexico in 2015, many fleeing violence and facing harm if forced to return home, the HRW release said.

    Earlier in March, a US immigration judge sparked outrage among many advocacy groups by claiming that children as young as 3 years old were capable of understanding immigration law and representing themselves in court.

    HRW is urging the US Congress to pass a law requiring the government to provide lawyers for unaccompanied minors facing deportation hearings.

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    deportaion, Human Rights Watch, United States
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