New Sensation: SA’s Austin Mahone and teen pop superstardom

New Sensation: SA’s Austin Mahone and teen pop superstardom

Music: Like the bulk of Austin Mahone’s Instagram account, this one’s a selfie. In a white tank top, hair coifed up real big, Mahone arranges his facial... By Matt Stieb 7/22/2014
Beaches Be Trippin\': Five Texas Coast Spots Worth the Drive

Beaches Be Trippin': Five Texas Coast Spots Worth the Drive

Arts & Culture: Let’s face it, most of us Lone Stars view the Texas coast as a poor man’s Waikiki. Hell, maybe just a poor man’s Panama Beach — only to be used... By Callie Enlow 7/10/2013
Best Vegetarian Restaurant

Best Vegetarian Restaurant

Best of SA 2013: 4/24/2013
Gabriel Iglesias’ ‘The Fluffy Movie’ Bids Aloha to the Famous Nickname

Gabriel Iglesias’ ‘The Fluffy Movie’ Bids Aloha to the Famous Nickname

Screens: Although his nickname “Fluffy” has defined him for years, stand-up comedian Gabriel Iglesias isn’t worried about losing... By Kiko Martínez 7/23/2014
Best Food Truck

Best Food Truck

Best of SA 2012: We love food trucks. But, honestly, there are days when the restaurant-on-wheels trend feels completely out of hand. Frequently operators wheeling out new mobile eateries... 4/25/2012

Search hundreds of restaurants in our database.

Search hundreds of clubs in our database.

Follow us on Instagram @sacurrent

Print Email

Migrant Nation

As border apprehensions fall, a serious 'minor' problem emerges

Photo: , License: N/A

"These are children with serious problems caught up in this, along with others who may be incompetent or mentally ill," Teran said. "We're representing one who's only seven years old right now." It's largely left up to the nonprofit world to determine whether kids qualify for legal status, such as asylum, or if they're able to get visas as a result of trafficking or being victims of crime, she says.

Virtually nowhere else in the U.S. law are kids deemed competent and able to represent themselves in open court. Yet in the immigration system, minors must respond to charges against them, detail what forms of relief they might apply for, testify under oath, and be judged on their credibility.

"I've represented hundreds, if not thousands, of people in immigration proceedings, and there are very few adults that I've encountered who could successfully navigate that complex system alone," said Jonathan Ryan, executive director of San Antonio-based RAICES (Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services). Along with representing children, RAICES conducts legal screenings and know-your-rights presentations for kids like the those recently shuffled to Lackland.

Housing and shelters in town for unaccompanied minors picked up by Border Patrol, Ryan says, are similar to what kids placed in CPS custody experience. "But the difference is, with those children in CPS care, their parents are subject to an investigation and potential prosecution," Ryan said. "In the context of these unaccompanied minors, they're seen as defendants within the system."

Still, some like David Walding with the Bernardo Kohler Center, which advocates for immigrants in Texas, worry how well know-your-rights presentations stick with elementary school-age kids. "They're not entitled to representation, even as children … That's the serious, underlying problem." •

Recently in News
We welcome user discussion on our site, under the following guidelines:

To comment you must first create a profile and sign-in with a verified DISQUS account or social network ID. Sign up here.

Comments in violation of the rules will be denied, and repeat violators will be banned. Please help police the community by flagging offensive comments for our moderators to review. By posting a comment, you agree to our full terms and conditions. Click here to read terms and conditions.
comments powered by Disqus