The Associated Press
OLYMPIA — A coalition of immigrant-rights advocacy groups is asking a federal court to block upcoming deportation proceedings against several minors unless they have proper legal representation.
The preliminary injunction motion was filed Thursday night by several groups, including the American Civil Liberties Union, American Immigration Council and Northwest Immigrant Rights Project.
The groups, which filed a lawsuit on the issue last month, say that expedited deportation proceedings sparked the need for the motion. The groups, which include Public Counsel and K&L Gates LLP, also asked the U.S. District Court in Seattle to hear their motion seeking class-action certification as soon as possible.
Under federal law, the government is not required to provide attorneys for immigrants of any age facing deportation. Immigrants can hire private attorneys or seek free legal representation.
The lawsuit, filed on behalf of several minors ranging in age from 10 to 17, is seeking to require the government to provide minors with legal representation.