Friday, October 17, 2008

Tide is turning: Microsoft to provide free legal representation to undocumented minors

The Seattle Times is reporting that Microsoft, in conjunction with some powerhouse law firms, will be providing free legal representation to undocumented minors in immigration proceedings.

Partnered with some of the nation's legal powerhouses — and with actress Angelina Jolie as a spokesperson — Microsoft today launched an initiative to provide free legal help to hundreds of illegal-immigrant children who are on their own and facing deportation.

Through Kids in Need of Defense (KIND), the Redmond company and a group of law firms in nine cities will spend about $14.5 million over the next three years on an immigration legal-defense program for children, similar to a partnership Microsoft has had with local attorneys for years.

Last year, about 8,000 illegal-immigrant children with no official adult supervision were processed in immigration court. They came from all over the world — the majority from Central America — some fleeing untold horror and abuse.

Lydia Tamez, associate general counsel for Microsoft, told of two brothers, ages 3 and 5, who crossed the border with their mother but became separated from her after she was detained. The boys were found wandering the freeway, naked and begging for food.

Another local case involved a 3-year-old who became separated from her aunts in California. When she appeared before an immigration judge and was asked how old she was, she raised three tiny fingers.

Great for Microsoft! In return I vow not to call Microsoft the evil empire or otherwise malign them for two months.

1 comment:

Katherine Bolton said...

What excellent news! Thanks for the article. Keep these type of posts coming. I like reading about news involving immigrant rights and immigrant health.