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SF Considers Funding Legal Aid for Children Who Crossed the Border


San Francisco may set aside money to fund legal representation for children who have crossed the border.

Supervisor David Campos is proposing the $1.2 million a-year fund.

Campos became emotional Wednesday after hearing from some of the children who have crossed into the United States by themselves.

Walter traveled from the streets of Guatemala to San Francisco's City Hall. He and other boys told San Francisco Supervisors they had no choice but to run from the violence and poverty that continues to cripple their country.

Late Wednesday afternoon, a committee voted to support Campos' plan to appropriate $1.2 million a year to fund their legal representation.

Campos spoke to a crowd of supporters who are behind his plan to help these children stay here.

"After leaving the detention center and reunited with family members, the children come here to the San Francisco Immigration Court where they are told to come back with legal representation," Campos said. "We in San Francisco are going to set an example for how we as a country should be dealing with this issue."

Natalie and Najeli Ulloa were listening to Campos talk. They told ABC7 News they left El Salvador to be reunited with their mother in the Bay Area, after seven years of being apart. Their grandmother helped them along the way.

Natalie Ulloa said in Spanish it took them two months to get their mom.

For now, families are relying on nonprofit organizations to help them. But these groups already have too many cases.

Private law firms like Keker and Van Nest announced they will help by donating money and their time to represent a few of them.

"My message to the other firms in San Francisco will be do everything you can, look within yourself and try to be creative," Campos added. It's not clear if Campos has the support of the full Board of Supervisors, which will vote next Tuesday.