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The U.S. Department of Justice just announced a new initiative to provide legal representation to illegal immigrant children who cross into the United States – right after recent headlines rocked the nation predicting that 60,000 or more youth without parents would steal into the country in the coming year.

It’s called “justice AmeriCorps,” and it’s a grant program that will pay for about 100 lawyers and paralegals to provide legal guidance and service in court to children who cross the border illegally.

“With the launch of justice AmeriCorps, we’re taking a historic step to strengthen our justice system and protect the rights of the most vulnerable members of society,” said Attorney General Eric Holder, in a written statement released June 6. “Through this program, we reaffirm our allegiance to the values that have always shaped our pursuit of justice. We empower new generations of aspiring attorneys and paralegals to serve their country and stand on the front lines of this fight. And we bolster both the efficacy and the efficiency of our immigration courts.”

But Cheryl Chumley, author of “Police State USA: How Orwell’s Nightmare Is Becoming Our Reality,” has criticized the initiative as an attempt to further amnesty for illegal aliens in a way that – because children are involved – will be politically tough to oppose.

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“The attorney general of the United States gathering a team of attorneys to represent illegal immigrants in court – isn’t that backward?” Chumley asked. “I thought the federal government was supposed to protect our borders, not open them to more and more illegal entries.

“Of course, it’s hard to turn away any child in need,” Chumley added, “but the truth of the matter is, with this pro-amnesty president and scandal-plagued attorney general, it’s hard to believe this justice AmeriCorps initiative isn’t so much about helping the children as about – to put it bluntly – a new generation of Democrat voters who will likely be raised to believe that government is the grantor of rights and privileges.”

Chumley’s objection, however, is about more than just politics, but is directly tied into the subject of her book.

“This is the problem with all illegal immigration amnesty scams: They circumvent the will of the people, undercut the Constitution and the rule of law,” Chumley told WND. “Where does that leave our country in the coming short years? As a nation adrift from its greatest asset – the belief that rights come from God, not government – and headed straight down the path of police-state governance, where law, rights and privileges are all interpreted and administered at the whims of bureaucrats and politicians who hold all the power.”

The Justice Department announcement comes on the heels of news that the Border Patrol in Texas has become overwhelmed with juvenile illegal immigrants – as many as 48,000 children migrating across the border without parents – and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security has started flying them to holding centers and warehouses in Nogales, Arizona.

The Associated Press reports federal authorities plan to use the Nogales facility as a way station, where the children will be vaccinated and checked medically. They will then be sent to facilities being set up in Ventura, California; San Antonio, Texas; and Fort Sill, Oklahoma.

Customs and Border Protection in Arizona “is prepared to and expects to continue processing unaccompanied children from South Texas,” said Victor L. Brabble, a spokesman for the agency in Tucson.

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