Under the Gang of Eight’s amnesty legislation, taxpayers could be on the hook for illegal aliens’ attorneys’ fees when they fight removal from the United States. (See S. 744 § 3502, p. 567)

Specifically, the legislation strikes a provision under current law stating that aliens’ right to counsel in removal proceedings will not be at the expense of the Government. The legislation then grants the Attorney General unfettered discretion to appoint counsel as he sees fit. In fact, the legislation grants the Attorney General the “sole and unreviewable discretion to appoint or provide counsel” to aliens in removal proceedings, denying any judicial recourse if the Attorney General abuses such power. (Id. at p. 568)(emphasis added)

And, in instances where certain alien minors are placed in removal proceedings, the legislation actually requires the Attorney General to appoint taxpayer-funded counsel.  “[T]he Attorney General shall appoint counsel, at the expense of the Government, if necessary, to represent an alien in a removal proceeding who has been determined by the Secretary to be an unaccompanied alien child….” the bill reads. (Id. at p. 569)(emphasis added)

While the provision limits the requirement to appoint counsel to alien minors who are incompetent or “considered particularly vulnerable when compared to other aliens in removal proceedings,” no doubt all unaccompanied minors will receive free counsel given their minor status makes them inherently vulnerable when compared to the remainder of the illegal alien population. (Id.)

Moreover, the number of unaccompanied illegal alien minors crossing the border has grown since the Obama Administration instituted its DACA backdoor amnesty policy. The total number of illegal alien unaccompanied minors apprehended crossing the border in FY 2011 was 16,607, and before FY 2012 was even over, U.S. Customs and Border Protection already recorded 15,590 unaccompanied minor border crossings. (FAIR Legislative Update, Jul. 9, 2012)