SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) --Representatives from some of the Bay Area's top law firms gathered in San Francisco on Wednesday to figure out how to help the large number of immigrant children arriving in the U.S.
The idea is to find private sources to assist these children in their deportation hearings in Northern California, similar to the efforts underway in Southern California.
The 70 representatives from law firms and legal non-profits attended the conference convened by State Attorney General Kamala Harris.
Law firms pledged to provide a minimum of 500 hours of pro-bono work. Some are even making their paralegal teams available to help community legal groups handling immigration cases.
"There are translation issues and many of the immigration proceedings are very fact-specific and require a lot of attorney time. So, the resources needed are large," California Attorney General's Chief of Policy Daniel Suvor said.
A recent study found that more than half of the unaccompanied Central American children in the U.S. could qualify for some sort of relief, yet nine out of 10 who appear before an immigration judge without a lawyer are sent back home.