Case Summary: 14-cv-01026-TSZ
Plaintiffs are eight immigrant children, ranging in age from ten to seventeen. The Government has begun proceedings to deport each of them; they will soon be called to appear before an Immigration Judge. In court, the Department of Homeland Security (“DHS”) will be represented by a trained lawyer who will argue for the child’s deportation. But no lawyer will stand with the child. Each will be required to respond to the charges against him or her, and, in theory, will be afforded an opportunity to make legal arguments and present evidence on his or her own behalf. But in reality those rights will be meaningless because children are not competent to exercise them. Each child has attempted to find representation through pro bono legal service providers, but none of them have found anyone with the resources to take on their cases. Absent this Court’s intervention, these children will be forced to defend themselves pro se under the immigration laws; a legal regime that, as the courts have recognized, rivals the Internal Revenue Code in its complexity.
WHEREFORE, Plaintiffs respectfully request that the Court grant the following relief:
a. Certify a class pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23 in accordance with this Complaint’s allegations and the accompanying Motion for Class Certification;
b. Declare that the Defendants’ failure to ensure legal representation for Plaintiffs and the Plaintiff Class violates constitutional and statutory law, pursuant to the Court’s equitable powers and the Declaratory Judgment Act, 28 U.S.C. § 2201;
c. Issue an injunction directing Defendants to ensure that Plaintiffs and other members of the Plaintiff Class receive legal representation in their immigration proceedings;
d. Grant any other relief the Court deems just, equitable, and appropriate, including, but not limited to, fees under the Equal Access to Justice Act, and any other applicable statute or regulation.
Case highlights for this case are not yet available.
Case-related documents, including those referenced above, are available via the Public Access to Court Electronic Records (PACER) service. For more information, visit Pacer.gov.
Click to Play Video