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The Seattle Times political team explores national, state and local politics.

August 15, 2014 at 10:24 AM

AG Ferguson goes to bat for immigrant children

Immigrant children crossing the border likely won’t make their way up to Washington state in large numbers anytime soon, where it was briefly thought they might be housed at Joint Base Lewis-McChord.

But the slowing of unaccompanied minors crossing the border hasn’t stopped  Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson from weighing in on the latest incarnation of our approximately 140-year tussle on who can stay  in America and who must go.

Ferguson sent a press release Friday morning on his intent to file a friend of the court brief supporting the right of immigrant children to have a lawyer represent them in deportation hearings.

“Since 2005, 41 percent of unaccompanied children in Washington state who were represented by counsel had their cases resolved and were granted protection from deportation,” the press statement reads. “In contrast, only 4 percent of unaccompanied children not represented by counsel were allowed to remain.”

Washington isn’t an official party to the federal lawsuit, known as J.E.F.M. v. Holder. At this point Ferguson is just asking for permission by a district court to file his brief. But the attorney general is also “examining options to address the legal needs of unaccompanied immigrant children in Washington with pro bono lawyers.”

Comments | More in Attorney General | Topics: Bob Ferguson, immigration


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