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RRANCI.NGTHE CA.PTAINN o CRAIR qrAtrAt ,4, Linsky says the children range in age from newborns to 17 years old. Most are from the Central American countries of Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras. Children ages 14 and under are placed with temporary foster families; the older children are kept in detention facilities. At her Harlingen office, Linsky works with four other lawyers and five paralegals. They are the only organization in the Rio Grande Valley authorized by the Department of Homeland Security to legally represent children in detention. “There is a lot of growing pressure on the very limited pro bono services in the area,” she says. “We also work with adults as well, and there are now 4,200 beds slated for adult detainees in the Rio Grande Valley.” Because of tightening border security, many illegal immigrants are staying put in the United States; rather than risk not getting back into the United States, they are paying smugglers to bring their children to them. Often the children are caught by U.S. immigration officials and wind up in detention along the border. “The children experience a lot of emotional trauma: Linsky says. “Some of them have been raped by the smugglers or by the smugglers’ associates.” With comprehensive immigration reform nowhere in sight for the present, Linsky and other lawyers can expect the number of children in detention to grow. Melissa del Bosque fa Naga International Headquarters Come Visit us for LUNCH! In addition to our organic coffee, pizzas, empanadas, pastries and pies, we now prepare made to order sandwiches, salads, and even black bean gazpacho. 3601 S. Congress oft E. Alpine Penn Field under the water tower check our site for monthly calendar OCTOBER 17, 2008 THE TEXAS OBSERVER 7