Via the Associated Press:

A federal appeals court panel on Tuesday rejected a class-action lawsuit brought on behalf of children who go without lawyers in deportation proceedings, despite saying that having kids represent themselves in such complex matters is "an extremely difficult situation."

The lawsuit was filed two years ago in Seattle by immigrant rights advocates, following a flood of unaccompanied minors arriving at the U.S. border. It sought to force the government to appoint lawyers for the children; immigration judges don't have that authority now.

U.S. District Judge Thomas Zilly ruled that the children could pursue their claims that being denied lawyers violated their due-process rights, but three judges from the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals overturned that decision. The appeals court panel said federal immigration law precludes such claims from being filed in U.S. District Court.

Instead, the judges said, such claims must be brought individually and filed directly in federal appeals courts after deportations proceedings are exhausted.

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