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AILA Strongly Condemns Reported Plans to Return Migrant Children to Danger

Cite as "AILA InfoNet Doc. No. 14063060 (posted Jun. 30, 2014)"

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, June 30, 2014

CONTACTS:
George Tzamaras or Belle Woods
202-507-7649 - 202-507-7675
gtzamaras@aila.org - bwoods@aila.org

Washington, DC - In the following statement, Leslie A. Holman, President of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) strongly condemns reported Administration plans to quickly, and with no due process, deport unaccompanied migrant children back to the dangers they escaped:

"If the media reports are true, President Obama is asking Congress to change the law to enable the government to inflict expedited removal on unaccompanied children. That is simply unconscionable. No matter what you call it, rapid deportations without any meaningful hearing for children who are rightly afraid of the violence and turmoil from which they fled is wrong, and contradicts the fundamental values of this nation.

"The additional resources the Administration is reported to be seeking should be brought to bear to ensure fair and humane treatment of the migrant children fleeing their homes for the possibility of safety and security in a distant land. The funds should be used for immigration court staff and to ensure immigration courts can review each case and the children have access to counsel rather than to buy more plane tickets to take them "home" to a place their lives may be in danger. The President needs to determine an orderly strategy for offering these children refuge until the countries they arrived from, such as El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras, can offer safety. Right now, that is not the case.

"Our country's reaction to this crisis is going to echo through the lives of these children and their families for generations, and actions to throw them out will be a stain on our history long after this Administration is gone. The simplest way to think about this is the golden rule: if our children were in the same position, how would we want them to be treated? We urge President Obama and Congress to treat these children accordingly," she concluded.

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The American Immigration Lawyers Association is the national association of immigration lawyers established to promote justice, advocate for fair and reasonable immigration law and policy, advance the quality of immigration and nationality law and practice, and enhance the professional development of its members.

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