Joe Garcia Defeats U.S. Rep. David Rivera for Congressional Seat: AP | 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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Joe Garcia Defeats U.S. Rep. David Rivera for Congressional Seat: AP
U.S. Rep. David Rivera and his Democratic challenger, Joe Garcia, were competing for Florida’s Congressional District 26 seat.

Republican Congressman David Rivera is being sent home after one term amid accusations of ethics violations.

With 80 percent of District 26 precincts reporting, Democrat Joe Garcia led with 53.9 percent of the vote.

Voters Still in Line Hours After Polls Close

The embattled Miami congressman was out-fundraised more than 2-to-1, saw his district's lines be redrawn in a way seen more favorable to Garcia and, more than anything else, was seeking re-election under a cloud of ethical lapses.

Obama Wins Second Term: NBC

Joe Garcia, David Rivera Wind Down Campaign by Talking Up Voters

Joe Garcia, David Rivera Wind Down Campaign by Talking Up Voters
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Joe Garcia, David Rivera Wind Down Campaign by Talking Up Voters

The Florida Ethics Commission found probable cause last month that Rivera committed 11 ethics laws violations while a state lawmaker.

Garcia had also run against Rivera in 2010. He goes to Washington representing the Florida Keys and mostly suburban and rural parts of Miami-Dade and Collier counties.

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