Phoenix is one of nine cities chosen to receive federal funds to provide legal aid for undocumented children who cross illegally into the U.S. As Arizona Public Radio’s Justin Regan reports, the money will help children seeking asylum from violence in some Central American countries.
This week, the Department of Health and Human Services announced the $9 million grant. The Arizona Republic reports the money is intended to help thousands of unaccompanied minors navigate the legal process to avoid deportation.
The Republic cites a study conducted by Syracuse University between 2005 and 2014. It found that approximately 90 percent of children without legal representation in immigration court were deported, while almost half of those who did have counsel were allowed to stay in the U.S. legally.
The Border Patrol reports a nearly 75 percent increase over last year in the number of unaccompanied minors crossing the U.S.-Mexico border. Most were trying to avoid gang violence and increasing murder rates in countries like El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala.