PHOENIX - A group of Hispanic attorneys concerned over children being held by U.S. Customs and Border Protection without representation were turned away at the gates of a processing facility in Nogales on Thursday.
Immigration attorney Ruben Reyes was part of the group and said they were not allowed in, despite having submitted personal information on Monday including their driver’s licenses and social security numbers.
“These children are in a frightful situation, they don't have access to legal representation or legal information regarding the process that's taking place here in the United States,” explained Reyes.
Reyes tells ABC15 illegal border crossers have no rights to a government appointed attorney, but they can hire an attorney on their own to help them understand the paperwork they are signing and the process.
“There is a lot of misinformation in the community with the difference of a notice to appear versus a subpoena to appear in court. It's not a permit to stay. And what they sign could be detrimental,” Reyes said.
The attorneys are offering their services for free as part of a humanitarian effort and are getting calls from attorneys all over the U.S.
“I have received an overwhelming response nationally from attorneys who are interested in providing free 'know your rights' presentations at these facilities,” said Reyes.
The group is asking CBP to reconsider their offer and plan to continue pushing for access to help the children with legal matters.
Reyes said CBP has told them they may have to go through the office of refugee resettlement.