President Obama Wants to Provide Border Children Legal Help

In this June 3, 2014 photo, 14-year-old Brian Duran, from Comayagua, Honduras, who traveled alone to the U.S.-Mexico border, collects his line-dried laundry at the Senda de Vida migrant shelter during his journey north in Reynosa, Mexico. There has been a big increase in the number of children crossing the border into the U.S. without an adult. Christopher Sherman / AP

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The Obama administration is turning to a community service program to try to provide legal help to children who have crossed the border without a parent or guardian and later face deportation proceedings.

On Friday, the administration said it would try to enroll 100 lawyers and paralegals into AmeriCorps to provide the legal services. They also would help to identify children who have been abused or victims of human trafficking and assist in prosecuting perpetrators, the Department of Justice said in a statement.

Tens of thousands of children have been crossing the nation’s southern border without a parent or adult, swamping select Border Patrol processing stations on the U.S.-Mexico border. Their numbers have forced the administration to open at least two emergency shelters and the president declared the situation a “humanitarian crisis.”