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Florida lawyers stand with unaccompanied minors
CABA, One Campaign organize effort to represent kids in immigration and dependency courts
By Jan Pudlow
Miami Immigration Court judges called an emergency meeting July 29: In three days, a surge of children would flood their courtrooms, and a trio of judges would struggle to hear 150 cases a day.
As young as 6 years old, the children had journeyed alone for weeks and even months from Central America. They walked on foot, with guides dubbed “coyotes.” They were packed in crowded buses. They clung to the tops of trains to keep from falling off, this roaring vehicle they call “the Beast.” Some were abandoned in the desert. Some were robbed. Some were raped. When it was their turn to appear in a Miami immigration courtroom in this strange new land, they hoped would bring a better life, most would stand alone, with no family member and no lawyer at their side.