Pro Bono News
Fleeing gangs, Central American children face deportation as LA area-legal aid remains scarce (CA)
Saturday, June 10, 2017
- Los Angeles Daily News
Fleeing gangs, Central American children face deportation as LA area-legal aid remains scarce
"Three years after children like Cesar began pouring into the U.S. without a legal guardian in far greater numbers, fleeing gang violence and capturing international headlines, most Los Angeles-area agencies that serve them are strapped.
Faced with maxed-out pro-bono legal representation, advocates are scrambling to raise funds to hire attorneys at discounted rates. Often, the child’s relatives in the U.S. are asked to pitch in, according to advocates.
Ultimately some children are left with no other choice but to make their case themselves in court.
“Without legal representation, they have better than a 90 percent chance of being deported to their country of origin, and a high probability of being murdered by the gang they were fleeing from in the first place,” said the Rev. Fred Morris, president of the board of directors for the San Fernando Valley Refugee Children Center, also known as the Welcome Center, in North Hills."