Democrats still can’t find the Second Amendment.
Congressional Democrats introduced legislation Friday to grant illegal immigrant children taxpayer-funded lawyers to argue their cases, saying once they get into the U.S. they deserve constitutional due process protections to make sure their cases are fairly decided.
It’s the latest battlefield as Washington grapples with the ongoing stream of illegal immigrants from Central America who have surged into the U.S. in the last few years, overwhelming the Border Patrol, social workers and the immigration courts.
Many of the children have claimed asylum, arguing they face dangerous and often fatal consequences if they were to be deported back to their home countries — but Democrats said they end up having to make those cases in court alone, without the help of lawyers, oftentimes speaking only Spanish or an indigenous language that further hinders their understanding.
“The provision of the Constitution requiring due process of law applies to everything,” said Rep. Zoe Lofgren, the top Democrat on the House immigration subcommittee, who introduced the legislation along with about 80 other Democrats. “I don’t see how you can make a credible argument that a 10-year-old can represent themselves, and so the due process clause is what demands this representation — and not only the due process clause, but human decency.”
Her bill tracks with a similar measure Sen. Harry Reid, the top Democrat in the Senate, introduced earlier this month.
The question of rights for the hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants — some of then children traveling without parents, while others are family units traveling together — has bedeviled Washington.
Federal courts have repeatedly ruled that there is no constitutional right to lawyers for illegal immigrant children, though they’ve hinted there could be specific cases in which a government-appointed lawyer is required, according to an analysis by the Congressional Research Service.