Kamala Harris Asks California Law Firms to Help Immigrant Children Pro Bono
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California Attorney General Kamala Harris announced on Thursday that she had personally asked major law firms in California to provide pro bono services to immigrant children trying to flee violence in countries in Central America like Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala. According to Reuters, the numbers of unaccompanied children trying to enter U.S. is growing every day, and the stance of Harris shows California is considering this a humanitarian issue.
Earlier this year, according to news reports, children from Central America had flooded the Texas border and by the end of June, close to 3000 children had been sent to California from there. Harris asked lawyers from the top law firms in California to donate 500 hours of pro bono work this year to save the immigrant children.
Despite outcry by activists opposing illegal immigration, California Governor Jerry Brown had said earlier this week that California would play a positive role in handling the crisis, rather than going for deportation as a solution. Harris followed up later by asking lawyers from big law firms and corporate giants like Walt Disney, Warner Bros and others to provide legal assistance to the children in crisis.
Until now, U.S. authorities have been overwhelmed by the influx of unaccompanied immigrant children and have been trying hard to arrange temporary housing while deportation processes are completed. But the plight of the children have caused activists question normal proceedings in face of a humanitarian crisis.
Reuters reported that Harris had also criticized the U.S. Congress for failing to push through required immigration reforms that could have made it easy for millions of undocumented immigrant children to move towards citizenship in the U.S.
The California Attorney General pointed out that many children caught in the crisis were of 8 years of age or younger, and that they must have access to due process.
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