By Fernanda Santos, New York Times
August 20, 2016
TUCSON — After a long, scary trek through three countries to escape the gang violence in El Salvador, a 15-year-old boy found himself scared again a few months back, this time in a federal immigration court here. There was an immigration judge in front of him and a federal prosecutor to his right. But there was no one helping him understand the charges against him.
“I was afraid I was going to make a mistake,” the boy said in Spanish from his uncle’s living room, in a modest cinder-block house on the south side of this city. “When the judge asked me questions, I just shook my head yes and no. I didn’t want to say the wrong thing.”
Every week in immigration courts around the country, thousands of children act as their own lawyers, pleading for asylum or other type of relief in a legal system they do not understand.[...]
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