Co-Managing Attorney of Harvard Immigration and Refugee Clinic at Greater Boston Legal Services

Co-Managing Attorney of Harvard Immigration and Refugee Clinic at Greater Boston Legal Services

Via MSNBC

As more evidence emerges that the Central American children arriving at the U.S border are fleeing horrific violence, lawmakers and advocates are starting to call it as they see it. …

To qualify for asylum, a child must prove they have been persecuted in the past, or risk further threats in the future over their race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group or political opinion. It is up to a judge to use their discretion in each case to decide whether gang violence qualifies as persecution. The problem is then exacerbated when it’s a child who appears before an immigration court without full legal representation.

“Gang-related violence has been viewed through a lens that characterizes it as common crime,” explained Nancy Kelly …setting a high bar for those who have been persecuted by gangs. “And for a child who’s trying to go forward without an attorney, it’s next to impossible.”

Read the full article.