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Obama Administration Will Provide 9 Million Dollars in Legal Services to Undocumented Children
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Obama Administration Will Provide 9 Million Dollars in Legal Services to Undocumented Children

Summary: The Obama administration announced that over the next two years, roughly $9 million will be provided to undocumented children of illegal immigrants who have been apprehended at different borders.

According to the Washington Post, the Obama administration is planning to offer an impressive $9 million in legal services to the children of undocumented immigrants who crossed the U.S. border illegally. Over the next two years, the funds will provide legal representation to approximately 2,600 children. These children were without a parent or guardian when they were detained by police officers. Each child will receive roughly $3,460 in legal assistance.

  
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Over the summer, an increase in children being apprehended by law enforcement caused concern for many as authorities searched for places for the children to stay. Many governors expressed disapproval of what they felt was a lack of transparency in the effort to find housing for the children. A few days before the Obama administration’s announcement, California Governor Jerry Brown (D) signed a similar program into law that offered $3 million to California nonprofits for the same purpose. San Francisco has offered over $2.1 million in representation to children and their families in that city as well. The first city to undertake a program that aimed to provide attorneys for low-income immigrants facing deportation was New York City this past June.

Next year, the government will provide over $4.2 million to the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops in Washington D.C. and the U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants in Arlington. Both entities will provide legal representation and other legal services to the children of illegal immigrants in Arlington, Baltimore, Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles, Memphis, Miami, New Orleans, and Phoenix. The Justice Department assisted with the selection of these cities, which contain significant numbers of children involved in immigration proceedings of some nature. Roughly 1,222 children will receive legal assistance from the first amount of funding. The balance will be provided in a year.

Customs and Border Protection data shows that over 66,000 children have been stopped at the Southwest border from October 1 through the end of August. After the children have been apprehended by law enforcement, they are sent to the Health & Human Services Department’s Office of the Administration of Children & Families. Once they arrive, they are provided food, shelter, and necessary medical attention. A sponsor, usually a family member, will take care of the children after they leave the department while they await any proceedings. From January 1 until the end of August, 43,419 children were placed in this manner.

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