SANTA CLARA COUNTY (KCBS)— With so many immigrant children facing deportation and a lack of legal representation, the call is out in Santa Clara County for not only more lawyers, but for them to do pro-bono work.
At least 1,500 kids are already here in the Bay Area and in need of help said Greg Keperle, CEO of Catholic Charities of Santa Clara County.
“Catholic Charities has been providing immigration legal services for 30 years, Keperle said. While they provide legal assistance, he said they anticipate the volume of immigrants to increase, which will create more of a need for lawyers.
“We’re going to need more attorneys and more, what we call, accredited representatives for the Board of Immigration Appeals,” he said.
Santa Clara County Supervisor Dave Cortese said all the children should have legal representation.
“In this country, no matter where you’re from, you’re entitled to effective assistance of counsel. We think especially if you’re six, seven, or 10-years-old, you shouldn’t be standing before a judge without an attorney, trying to represent your case on your own without parents or anybody else to help you,” Cortese said.
The Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors has directed county officials to create a program to host kids that are immigrants.
Catholic Charities will hold an informational session for interested lawyers Tuesday, August 19th at 6 p.m.