Calif. bill would pay for lawyers for unaccompanied minor immigrants

SACRAMENTO Calif. Thu Aug 21, 2014 8:55pm EDT

California Governor Jerry Brown adjusts his earpiece during a news conference at Memoria y Tolerancia museum in Mexico City July 28, 2014. REUTERS/Edgard Garrido

California Governor Jerry Brown adjusts his earpiece during a news conference at Memoria y Tolerancia museum in Mexico City July 28, 2014.

Credit: Reuters/Edgard Garrido

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SACRAMENTO Calif. (Reuters) - California would spend $3 million on lawyers for unaccompanied minors arriving in California from Central America under a proposal announced Thursday by top California Democrats.

Democratic Governor Jerry Brown, along with Attorney General Kamala Harris and the leaders of both houses of the legislature, said they planned to submit legislation authorizing the expenditure to help children who have been streaming over borders in Southwest states since last fall.

The move follows prior advocacy by Harris, who had personally asked some of the state's leading law firms to provide pro-bono representation for the children, many of whom are fleeing violence and poverty in Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala.

"These young people have legal rights and responsibilities, but they cannot fully participate in complex immigration proceedings without an attorney,” said Harris said Thursday. β€œIt is critical that these children, many of whom are fleeing extreme violence in Central America, have access to due process and adequate legal representation.β€Žβ€

Central American children began flooding the border at crossing points in Texas earlier this year, overwhelming local officials and leading the federal government to send thousands to other states for processing.

By the end of June, about 3,000 of the children had been sent to California, and more have come since.

(Reporting by Sharon Bernstein; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)

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Comments (8)
MarvinZesti wrote:
California can’t afford it. Medical enrollment and costs have far exceeded expectations. Unemployment is still high. These “children” are mostly 15-17 year old males, many much older than the age of 17 that they claim. Immigration is a Federal issue and California should stay out of it.

Aug 21, 2014 9:36pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
Frankey wrote:
You Californian’s must be the stupidest people on Earth to let something like this happen. Happy taxpaying CA!

Aug 21, 2014 11:11pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
riposte wrote:
Moonbeam Brown is back. Much to our detriment!

Aug 22, 2014 5:51am EDT  --  Report as abuse
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