Helping David Versus Goliath

April 13, 2015 8:40 am
by David Jakeman

A young child goes up against a giant behemoth. The child is very small compared with the giant that looms before them. The giant is nearly all powerful. The child stands little chance against the titan casting the long shadow across their path. What is the child supposed to do?

You might think we’re talking of David versus Goliath. Perhaps in a way we are, but in this case, it’s very much metaphorical. We’re actually talking about young unaccompanied minors being held by the United States, and very often, their situation resembles an unfair fight of biblical proportions. But the odds just might change with a recent class-action lawsuit asking for the federal government to provide immigration attorneys to these young children. Seattle immigration attorneys are watching as it plays out in their own backyard in the Seattle District Court.

The Immigration Lawsuit

The lawsuit was brought forward by an immigration attorney who works for the NW Immigrant Rights Project. Along with lawyers from the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), Adams has brought forward a lawsuit that seeks to counteract the unfair advantages that lawyers hold. The lawyer, Matt Adams, argues that it’s ludicrous to place a child against a government attorney and somehow believe that child is receiving a fair trial.

This reality is made even starker when you realize that many young children may not even speak English. The United States is a country that relies on the influx of cheap immigrant labor for many different reasons. It’s sad to see so many young children caught in the crossfire of global geopolitical events.

The Immigrant Children

The unaccompanied minors have been in the news recently with many coming from Central America looking to escape unstable situations there. Some parents send their children to the United States, hoping that they will be able to escape the instability and violence. When brought to the United States by immigrant smugglers, they are often just left at the border and taken into custody by federal officials.

U.S. officials from the Department of Justice countered the suit in the Seattle Court that the district court did not have jurisdiction over the class action lawsuit. They also say that the government is doing what it can with programs to assist these young children.1 Providing attorneys would not be helpful and only end up costing more money. It’s sad to see what a huge mess the whole situation is, especially with so many children who have gone through so much.

Hopefully these children will get the representation they need. This just might provide these little “Davids” with the smooth stones they need to bring down the Goliath of the federal immigration system. Whatever the case, something needs to change, and one can only hope that enough supporting immigration attorneys will be provided to help them with their cases.