US: Facing deportation: Giving kids a chance – a Muslim immigration lawyer speaks

Sioux Falls immigration lawyer, Taneeza Islam speaks about immigration law issues in Sioux Falls.

Fifty-two unaccompanied children who entered the country illegally are taking temporary refuge in South Dakota while they await their fate before an immigration judge.

Taneeza Islam, a Sioux Falls immigration lawyer, wants them to be prepared legally before the decision to allow them to stay or be deported is made.

The children’s best chance to remain in the country is by seeking asylum or a special juvenile immigrant status.

“To do those applications without a lawyer is difficult, and these are minors who don’t speak English and have minimal education. So there are a lot of barriers for these minors who seek relief on their own,” Islam said.

Unfortunately, legal resources in the state for them have been scarce in South Dakota, said Islam, who is working to change that as part of a Bush Foundation fellowship.

Islam brought representatives from a Minneapolis-based nonprofit to Sioux Falls last week to help train 25 South Dakota lawyers on how to properly represent unaccompanied children…