Maryland is currently housing more unaccompanied migrant children per capita than any other state. Those kids all need to go through immigration proceedings, and most of them don’t have access to lawyers. And if you’re a lawyer in Maryland, Martin O’Malley wants you get involved.
At O’Malley’s behest, Mary Ellen Barbera, the chief judge of the Maryland Court of Appeals, urged lawyers in Maryland to take on some of these unaccompanied minors’ cases on a pro bono basis. Children who are represented by lawyers have a better chance of being allowed to stay with family members in the U.S. than those who go to court without a lawyer.
“In Maryland, we strongly support comprehensive immigration reform but we have not waited for the federal government to act,” O’Malley told the Hispanic National Bar Association, according to the Baltimore Sun. “We want to keep families together.”