Our Stories

Ninth Circuit Decision Closes Doors of Justice to Immigrant Children


Public Counsel is on the front lines of fighting for a right to counsel for immigrant children. Those efforts suffered a serious setback this week when the Ninth Circuit closed the courthouse doors to immigrant children, ruling that they cannot pursue their constitutional claims in federal court. As co-counsel in this case, we believe this decision strikes a terrible blow to justice.

“We have worked in the immigration courts, and with immigrant children, for decades. We know these children cannot vindicate their rights via the path the Ninth Circuit envisions,” says Kristen Jackson, Senior Staff Attorney. 

It is unconscionable that our country allows children to face life and death immigration court proceedings alone and without counsel.

“Every day children flee for their lives and seek refuge at our border,” says Talia Inlender, Senior Staff Attorney, “how we treat them should reflect the best of our values. This week’s Ninth Circuit decision does the opposite: it recognizes these children cannot defend themselves in court, but fails to provide a meaningful path to remedy that injustice. We are better than this.”

If you agree, please sign our petition to President Obama demanding that he stop deporting children without lawyers. We are exploring all legal avenues to address this crisis, and we will continue to fight for these children to ensure that they receive the fair hearings our law demands.