$3 Million for Lawyers, Illegal Alien Juveniles in California

SAN DIEGO -- Thousands of illegal alien juveniles in California and their lawyers are slated to receive $3 million in California taxpayer dollars for legal services as they are processed through immigration proceedings. California Governor Jerry Brown announced a bill on Thursday, alongside multiple Democrat backers, that would grant these funds and should not require any Republican votes to pass through both houses of the California legislature.

Central Americans have been crossing illegally over the Unites States southwest border in the thousands for years, but numbers have increased exponentially since last October. 

The money sought by Gov. Brown is expected to be funneled to nonprofit organizations offering legal services to the illegal immigrant minors. Organizations like Border Angels, La Raza Lawyers and others have been advocating for free legal services for those who face immigration hearings after entering the United States illegally. 

At a press conference on July 2, attorney Victor Torres of the La Raza Lawyers Association said of the thousands of Central Americans crossing illegally into the U.S. over the southwest border that they “are all Americans too.”

In addition, Border Angels hosts a documentary project on their website entitled, “The Dream Without Visa,” which demonstrates the means by which those seeking to travel to and enter the U.S may do so outside legal avenues.

The United Nations estimates that 90,000 unaccompanied minors will enter the U.S. illegally by year’s end. From January 1 to June 31 of this year, approximately 3,900 unaccompanied alien juveniles, apprehended after entering the U.S. illegally, have been released to sponsors in California. Nearly 37,500 have been released throughout the United States in the same period of time, according to a report from the U.S. Health and Human Services Office of Refugee Resettlement.

Every state official quoted in the release from Governor Brown’s office referred to the juveniles, mostly from Central America, as kids or children. However, as Breitbart has reported, Health and Human Services has stated that “Most [illegal unaccompanied alien minors] are over 14 and approximately three quarters of them are boys.”

Senator Ricardo Lara (D), chair of the California Latino Legislative Caucus, commented on the path to citizenship for these juveniles: "...it’s critical that these kids have every opportunity to seek permanent residency, including through the Special Immigrant Juvenile Status. We’re clearing up confusion by stating unequivocally that California courts have the authority to review cases involving unaccompanied minors seeking the Special Immigrant Juvenile Status.” This status was clarified by Brown to allow expediting of the naturalization process.

Many of the state officials who commented also asserted that for many of the juveniles to return to their countries would be a death sentence.

Gov. Brown said of the bill, “Helping these young people navigate our legal system is the decent thing to do and it’s consistent with the progressive spirit of California.”

The bill comes on the heels of California school districts increasing staffing specifically to brace for the influx of these youth enrolling in area schools. The San Francisco Unified School District, for example, recently declared its dedication “toward both the short and long-term needs of unaccompanied immigrant children enrolling in SFUSD.”

In July of last year, Gov. Brown signed a law that gives individuals “not lawfully present in the United States” the ability to practice law, upon completing the requirements generally required of a U.S. citizen to practice law. Other proposals extending rights and privileges to illegal aliens have been passed and/or signed into law in California.

Follow Michelle Moons on Twitter @MichelleDiana


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