The nightmare of family separation

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A boy and a father from Honduras are taken into custody by U.S. Border Patrol agents June 12 near Mission, Tex. (John Moore/Getty Images)

You have probably been reading or hearing about the thousands of asylum seeking families who are being separated and detained by our government. KIAC is working with the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project to recruit volunteers who can help these moms and dads prepare for their asylum interviews – the first step in gaining asylum. This preparation is critical to their having a chance to gain safety from the violence they fled and to be reunited with their children. We will start working with the first family tomorrow and are hoping to recruit several local attorneys to take on other families.

As this cruel situation continues we are striving to do what we can to help. Here in our own community four year old Juan depends on us to represent him in his deportation proceedings. Juan came to the US with his mother, fleeing violence in their home country. They were apprehended at the border and placed in deportation proceedings. In another of the debacles of our “justice” system, Juan’s mom was deported while he was left here with a sponsor. Without our help Juan would be representing himself in his deportation proceedings. Yes, that’s right, even a four year old doesn’t get a legal representative unless they can pay for one or someone volunteers. We went to immigration court with Juan on this last Tuesday and found that the deportation assembly line has been speeded up. Juan will likely be facing an immigration judge at his individual hearing (trial) in September. We will be by his side to ensure that justice is really done.

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