(POLITICO) A federal court order handed down this week gives new life to a long-running battle over whether child migrants have a due process right to legal counsel in deportation proceedings.
U.S. District Court Judge Thomas Zilly is tentatively proposing to certify a class action lawsuit that would cover all defendants under 18 who lack the financial resources to obtain an attorney and are potentially eligible for asylum. Zilly would confine the proposed class to only cases within the boundaries of the U.S. Ninth Judicial Circuit, but that encompasses much of the West, including California and Arizona, which have very much been at the heart of the immigration debate.
Since Zilly’s proposed certification is only tentative, it could yet be revised. And the Reagan appointee has already shown an abundance of caution in handling the lawsuit, filed in the summer of 2014.
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