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Do immigrant children have a right to appointed counsel?

In August, the Ninth Circuit heard arguments in C.J.L.G. v. Sessions, a case arguing that indigent children in deportation proceedings should be entitled to appointed counsel.C.J.L.G. v. Sessions, No. 16-73801, hearing on August 8, 2017 (9th Cir.); and Karolina Walters, “The Fight for Appointment Counsel for Immigrant Children Continues,” Immigration Impact, August 10, 2017.

The case follows the Ninth Circuit’s recent ruling in F.L.B. v. Lynch that indigent immigrant children may only argue for appointed counsel individually, rather than in a class action lawsuit. A decision on a petition for rehearing in that case was still pending as of December 2017.American Immigration Council, “Right to Appointment Counsel for Children in Immigration Proceedings,”; and F.L.B. v. Lynch (J.E.F.M. v. Holder), No. 2:14-cv-01026 (W.D. Wash. filed July 9, 2014), appeal docketed, J.E.F.M v. Lynch, Nos. 15-35738, 15-35739 (9th Cir. Dec. 5, 2016).