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Lucille Roybal-Allard

'We have a moral obligation': Lawmakers want the U.S. to provide attorneys for immigrant children

'We have a moral obligation': Lawmakers want the U.S. to provide attorneys for immigrant children

Rep. Zoe Lofgren knew what would happen as hundreds of thousands of children fled to the United States on their own over the last few years.

Because being present in the U.S. illegally is a civil offense, there is no right to an attorney during immigration or asylum proceedings. That means many children stand alone before an immigration judge when they ask to stay in this country.

Lofgren said it’s a problem she has fought for years. In the 1970s, she practiced immigration law and taught at the Santa Clara University School of Law. She knew that many who came fleeing violence would be sent back home because they...

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