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Statement of James R. Silkenat, president, American Bar Association Re: Unaccompanied children crossing U.S. border

Statement of James R. Silkenat, president, American Bar Association Re: Unaccompanied children crossing U.S. border

By John Glynn

WASHINGTON, June 11, 2014 -- The ABA is deeply concerned about the increasing number of unaccompanied children from Central America and Mexico who are crossing into the United States through our southern border and are being held in unsanitary and crowded conditions in Customs and Border Protection detention facilities. Many of these children are receiving little or no legal representation.

The ABA has long supported appointed counsel for unaccompanied children who are placed in removal proceedings and the appointment of child advocates as an additional safeguard. It is essential that these children be protected and held in safe and sanitary environments from the time of apprehension through their eventual release to recognized sponsors. It is also critical that these children receive a live presentation on their rights and child-friendly screening by qualified legal advocates who can assess their needs early in the process.

Please click here for a biography and photo of James R. Silkenat, president of the American Bar Association.

With nearly 400,000 members, the American Bar Association is one of the largest voluntary professional membership organizations in the world. As the national voice of the legal profession, the ABA works to improve the administration of justice, promotes programs that assist lawyers and judges in their work, accredits law schools, provides continuing legal education, and works to build public understanding around the world of the importance of the rule of law. View our privacy statement online. Follow the latest ABA news at www.ambar.org/news and on Twitter @ABANews

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