Protesters Target Rubio at Hispanic Leadership Conference | NBC 6 South Florida
  • Kids in Need of Defense (KIND) says children without legal representation are five times more likely to be deported. 

    “There should be a public defender system for children,” said Kristie-Ann Padrón, an attorney with Catholic Charities, a nonprofit that took Arlin and her brother’s case for free. “They are not legally competent to sign a contract. How could they be expected to represent themselves in court?”

    Padrón says, if deported, some of the children have nothing to go back to.

    “Some were suffering from gang violence’” she said.

    With the help of Catholic Charities, Arlin and her brother won their asylum case.

    Three years have passed, he’s an honors student in high school. Arlin has learned English and works as a supervisor at a movie theatre while she gets her degree.

    “I’m doing mechanical engineering and I want to work with the NASA,” Arlin said.

    The NBC6 Investigators spent time in immigration court. We spoke with several kids who were facing a Miami judge alone without representation. They told us in Spanish that they fear being deported back.

    Most immigration judges we saw in Miami tried to get unaccompanied minors help with non-profit attorneys but those organizations say there just isn’t enough free legal aid to meet the demand.

    They say they are always looking for attorneys willing to donate their services.

    " name="&lpos=navigation hover&lid=thousands of immigrant children face a judge without an attorney">Thousands of Immigrant Children Face a Judge Without an Attorney
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Protesters Target Rubio at Hispanic Leadership Conference
Groups upset with senator's immigration policies to demonstrate at appearance
BY Brian Hamacher

Republican Sen. Marco Rubio will be the target of protesters who are planning to demonstrate at his appearance with GOP presidential hopefuls at the Hispanic Leadership Conference Friday in Miami.

Members of 1Miami, Presente.org and other community activist groups will protesting outside the conference at the Doral Golf Resort and Spa, where former House Speaker New Gingrich and Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney are expected to join Rubio.

Presente will be promoting their "No Somos Rubios" (We are not Rubios) campaign, which criticizes the Cuban-American senator for his immigration policies.

The campaign is a play on Rubio's name. Rubio means blond in Spanish. Presente says it's a reference to the rising GOP star's association with the mostly white tea party, which tends to oppose any path to citizenship for illegal immigrants.

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The group plans to fly an airplane over the conference as part of their protest.