How Do You Teach 6-Year-Olds Their Legal Rights?

Good morning.

Every Tuesday and Friday, Lindsay Toczylowski visits the Long Beach Convention Center, the place she gathers small teams of kids, some as younger as 6, for a 45-minute lesson.

She’s not there to show the ABCs. She’s there to teach them about their authorized rights.

Toczylowski is an immigration lawyer. Her college students are migrants who crossed the southwestern border with no mother or father.

Since April, the conference heart has been housing kids, lots of them Central Americans who fled violence and poverty. Transferred there from Border Patrol custody, they continue to be in Long Beach till their potential guardians, sometimes relations, submit the paperwork required by the federal authorities to show that they’re associated and that the kids might be secure.

During their keep at emergency shelters in Southern California, which may stretch days or perhaps weeks, the kids take part in music, artwork and different actions. The aim of Toczylowski’s nonprofit legal-aid group, Immigrant Defenders Law Center, is to teach relatively than entertain them.

“We want to make sure they know that they are not alone in their legal process,” mentioned Toczylowski, who’s the manager director of Immigrant Defenders and who wore a T-shirt emblazoned with “No immigrants stand alone” in Spanish.

PictureLindsay Toczylowski, the manager director of the Immigrant Defenders Law Center.Credit…Renee Garcia, Immigrant Defenders Law Center

Each day, a workforce of legal professionals and paralegals from the nonprofit group visits the conference heart and the Pomona Fairplex, one other momentary shelter for migrant kids, to conduct “know your rights” shows.

Having entered the nation with out permission, the kids are in deportation proceedings. But in the event that they comply with the correct steps, they might win the correct to stay within the United States. The legal professionals purpose to ship that message with a full of life PowerPoint. One slide depicts a courtroom with cartoon figures of a decide, legal professionals and a clerk. Then a baby pops up on the display.

“That is you, I tell the kids, and you are the most important person in the immigration courtroom,” Toczylowski mentioned. “This is your chance to tell your story — why you came to the U.S. and what you are hoping for.”

The kids be taught they’ve the correct to a court docket interpreter, and they’re suggested to have a lawyer by their aspect. Immigrant Defenders helps join them with legal professionals.

Attending each court docket date, the kids are informed, offers them one of the best shot at profitable asylum or a visa that may put them on the trail to everlasting U.S. residency. But in the event that they miss a listening to, a decide can order their deportation in absentia.

“We drive home that point by asking them what happens if one team doesn’t show up for a soccer game: It loses,” she mentioned. “In court, showing up for your hearings doesn’t guarantee you win. But if you don’t show up, you will automatically lose, like the soccer team.”

The workforce has briefed tons of of kids, together with these quarantined as a result of they examined optimistic for the coronavirus upon arrival on the conference heart.

To be certain that sponsors of the kids are additionally conscious of the authorized course of, Esperanza Immigrant Rights Project, a nonprofit group affiliated with Catholic Charities of Los Angeles, has been coaching the case managers who deal with the minors’ reunification with the adults receiving them.

“We are going to have thousands of kids with immigration cases going on for years,” mentioned Kimberley Plotnik, program director at Esperanza. “It’s not over once they leave the shelters.”

Most of the kids know they’re in Long Beach, and a few even inform Toczylowski that town can be referred to as “playa larga” in Spanish. They inform her that they like being on the conference heart relatively than a border facility, the place they sleep on the bottom, with solely a wafer-thin sheet to cowl them. The meals is significantly better, too, they report.

Toczylowski usually shares with the migrants that she has kids their age, Maya, 11 and Santiago, 6.

As Mother’s Day approached, she couldn’t cease eager about just a little lady she had met. The 7-year-old baby from Central America had been carrying a cellphone, the place she had her mom’s contact data saved as she traveled north. Agents who processed her after she was intercepted on the border stored the machine, and she or he had not memorized the quantity.

Toczylowski recalled her sharing the one factor she knew: “My mommy lives where it snows.”

Later, the little lady’s eyes crammed with tears, and she or he requested, “Will I get adopted? Will I stay here forever?”

About 10 days later, she was reunited along with her mom within the Midwest.

Here’s what else to know at this time

ImageClaudia Padilla, a V.T.A. light-rail operator, positioned flowers at a memorial in entrance of San Jose City Hall honoring her co-workers who died in Wednesday’s mass taking pictures.Credit…Mike Kai Chen for The New York Times

Compiled by Jonathan Wolfe

The authorities mentioned they had been nonetheless in search of the motive of a gunman who shot and killed 9 co-workers at a rail yard in San Jose. The gunman had semiautomatic handguns and practically three dozen high-capacity magazines. In 2016, he was stopped by border officers, who searched his luggage and located writings about how he hated his office.

Here’s what we all know in regards to the victims.

The Gun Violence Archive, which defines a mass taking pictures as one with 4 or extra individuals injured or killed, not together with the perpetrator, has counted not less than 232 mass shootings to date this 12 months.

Gov. Gavin Newsom introduced a lottery for vaccinated Californians that may give 10 residents a $1.5 million prize.

The Biden administration mentioned it deliberate to revise a Trump-era rule that restricted the power of states and tribes to veto power initiatives that would pollute their native waterways.

As the drought worsens, The Sacramento Bee took a take a look at what lies forward for farmers, cities and residents.

With rules altering by the week, the Hollywood Bowl went from planning a modest reopening to weighing vaccine necessities to planning to return at full capability for its 18,000 seats.

An investigation by KPCC discovered that nursing houses in California can proceed to function even after they’ve been denied a license by the state.

Californians will vote in 2022 on whether or not to permit sports activities betting at tribal casinos and horse-racing tracks, The Los Angeles Times studies.

Despite pioneering consumer-data privateness protections, the California Legislature appears much less enthusiastic about regulating social media corporations, in accordance with CalMatters.

KTLA studies that greater than 123,000 stimulus checks from Californians have but to be cashed, the very best quantity within the U.S.

The Wall Street Journal has the story of an actual life “Schitt’s Creek.” The proprietor of Nipton, an 80-acre metropolis within the Mojave Desert, is making an attempt to promote the property for $2.75 million.

The 2022 Oscars have been delayed by one month, The Los Angeles Times studies.

California Today goes reside at 6:30 a.m. Pacific time weekdays. Tell us what you wish to see: [email protected] Were you forwarded this electronic mail? Sign up for California Today right here and skim each version on-line right here.