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Cuban American attorneys aid unaccompanied minors

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

09/29/2014 3:45 AM

MIAMI

The Cuban American Bar Association is lending its expertise to the growing number of unaccompanied minors headed to immigration court in Florida.

The group has mobilized attorney from across the state since the program began last spring, but association attorney Ricardo Martinez-Cid says many more lawyers are needed. More than 63,000 unaccompanied minors have crossed the U.S. border this year. Without a lawyer representing them, few will have any chance of winning a request for asylum or other protection.

The association’s attorneys have interviewed more than 200 children and placed at least 80 with pro bono lawyers. Nearly a dozen of those youth have received permanent residency.

The effort is among many pro bono projects nationwide to help the influx of youth fleeing gangs,
abuse and poverty in Central America.