Court: Immigrant children don't have right to free lawyer

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A federal appeals court says immigrant children are not entitled to attorneys paid for by the government when facing deportation.

A three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals today rejected a lawsuit by a boy who fled Honduras with his mother after refusing to join a gang.

The court rejected the lawsuit's claim that children have a constitutional due process right to a free attorney.

The boy's case was brought by the American Civil Liberties Union and immigrant groups, who say most of the thousands of children the government seeks to deport each year appear before judges without a lawyer because they can't afford one or find one to take their case for free.

A call to the ACLU of Southern California was not immediately returned.

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