Human Rights Watch expressed support this week for a lawsuit challenging the U.S. government’s refusal to provide legal counsel for migrant children facing deportation.
“Thousands of children in deportation hearings in the U.S. must stand alone before government lawyers and judges, and try to make their case without a lawyer,” said Clara Long, a U.S. immigration researcher at Human Rights Watch. “These hearings are incredibly complex and the consequence of losing is the potentially deadly threat of deportation.”
HRW submitted a friend-of-the-court brief with the federal appeals court hearing the case of J.E.F.M. v. Lynch, brought on behalf of thousands of migrant children.
The Columbia Law School Human Rights Institute and the law firm Covington and Burling LLP served as counsel on HRW’s brief.
Over the past year, HRW said that more than 28,000 children were deported from the United States to their countries of origin, in most of those cases to Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala.