Kids in Court

By July 12, 2018 News No Comments

In Immigration Court, there is no minimum age which a child is prohibited from representing themselves. Immigration courts do not have the same “right to an attorney” that criminal courts have. The combination of these two factors, exacerbated by the recent separations of parents and children, has resulted in an increasing number of children, of all ages, who have been forced to represent themselves in immigration court, in front of a judge, against a government paid attorney. The stakes in these cases are life and death as many of these children are in deportation hearings after their asylum petitions were refused. Toddlers and infants are not exempt from these court proceedings. Before children can talk, the immigration system expects them to be able to defend themselves in deportation hearings.