Led by Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, Democrats have introduced legislation to provide lawyers paid for by the government to illegal immigrant children and mothers to help them navigate the complex legal system since crossing the U.S. border from Central America in recent years.
"Deportation means death for some of these people," the Nevada senator told The Washington Times
after the bill was introduced on Thursday. "Given the life-and-death consequences of deportation to this region, we must ensure that we are not putting asylum-seeking women and children in harm’s way.
"We can do this by making sure that these desperate women and children have a lawyer."
Democrats included the lawyers with other protections proposed for illegals, among them allowing aliens to delay deportation proceedings until they gain access to their full government file, the Times reports.
Illegals can hire their own attorneys, but the government does not pay for them.
In the past two and a half years, nearly 300,000 illegal immigrant families and children have crossed the U.S. border with Mexico alone, Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson said.
The legislation is not likely to pass the Republican-controlled Congress, the Times reports.
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