Home > Appellate Law, Immigration Law > 9th Circuit Rules an Illegal Minor has No Right to Court Appointed Counsel

9th Circuit Rules an Illegal Minor has No Right to Court Appointed Counsel

Immigrant children who enter the country illegally with their parents have no right to a government-appointed paid lawyer in court, as just recently ruled by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. The ruling came in the case of a Honduran boy who arrived in the United States in 2014 at age 13 with a parent and was denied a stay of deportation. The boy had appeared in immigration court without a lawyer. While criminal defendants, citizens or not, have the right to government-funded legal representation, that right doesn’t automatically extend to immigration cases. The court seemed sympathetic to the child’s plight, but looked to Congress as the body for appropriate legislation to codify such a right.

In summary, the 9th Circuit held that neither the Due Process Clause nor the INA [Immigration and Nationality Act] creates a categorical right to court-appointed counsel at government expense for alien minors. Possibly left open was the question of whether an unaccompanied minor, would have such a right. The case is C.J.L.G. v. Jefferson B. Sessions III [AG]; No. 16-73801, United States Circuit Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

– All Rights Reserved © 2018 by Michael L. Mau, Esq. and The Mau Law Firm

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