Trump Eliminates Public Defenders For Immigrant Kids, Babies

The Trump administration has reportedly cut funding for public defenders representing immigrant children and babies who have imprisoned by the Trump administration since May.

Jonathan Ryan, the executive director of Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services (RAICES), told MSNBC anchor Stephanie Ruhle how Trump is gutting the kids’ legal representation:

What we know as lawyers, is that in a short amount of time, we are going to be in court and we’re going to be witnessing, I presume, people carrying babies into the court sitting them down, I don’t know, alone on someone’s lap, in front of a judge, across from a well-trained, highly paid, government ICE prosecutor, and that child is going to have to face a complex deportation hearing alone.

In addition to being detained away from their parents, the legal services that the government provided by a matter of law are slowly being stripped away.

Just 30 days ago, my organization — which provides direct representation through government funding to children, these babies — got an e-mail saying “stop working immediately.” We can no longer provide direct representation to these children.

…The government made a decision to issue a stop work order… These children have no access to independent counsel. These parents being prosecuted get a public defender, meanwhile, their baby is in a jail and being prosecuted, with no access to legal defense.

Many people think, if you’re detained, if you’re part of the legal process, the United States gives you a lawyer, but that’s not the case in immigration court, even for those babies.

It was 30 days ago, but the government made another decision 30 days ago to stop all funding for direct representation of these children — immediately before enacting this policy.

(Sources: MSNBC via YouTube, NBC News)

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