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EOIR issues guidance regarding child advocates in UAC hearings

  1. Date Announced

    Nov. 15, 2019

    Through Policy Memo 20-03, EOIR issues guidance limiting the role of child advocates in unaccompanied alien children (UAC) cases, stating that "neither the statute nor applicable regulations provide a formal mechanism for a child advocate to appear before an immigration judge." The guidance prohibits IJs from treating a child advocate as the legal representative of a UAC.

    [ID #224]

    View Policy Document
  2. Effective Date of Change

    Nov. 15, 2019
Status: Final/Actual
Type of Action: Agency Directive
Agencies Affected: EOIR ORR ICE

Prior Policies

  • EOIR Policy Memo 20-03 memorializes EOIR’s policy regarding child advocates as outlined in 8 U.S.C. § 1232(c)(6). Under the statute, "[t]he Secretary of Health and Human Services is authorized to appoint independent child advocates for child trafficking victims and other vulnerable unaccompanied alien children. A child advocate shall be provided access to materials necessary to effectively advocate for the best interest of the child. The child advocate shall not be compelled to testify or provide evidence in any proceeding concerning any information or opinion received from the child in the course of serving as a child advocate. The child advocate shall be presumed to be acting in good faith and be immune from civil liability for lawful conduct of duties as described in this provision."

    8 USC 1232(c)(6) - Child Advocates

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