For unaccompanied children seeking asylum in the United States, having a lawyer can make the difference between winning permission to stay and deportation. That harsh reality was true even before the recent wave of Central American children began surrendering on the Southwest border.

But the crush of new arrivals has inundated immigration courts and led to additional delays for children already here without a legal guardian and awaiting their day in court. Now the U.S. Department of Justice and a coalition of legal aid providers have launched an effort to provide attorneys for these unaccompanied children.

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