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Justice Department, AmeriCorps join to give legal help to children who come to US illegally

Young lawyers and paralegals are being sought for the community service program AmeriCorps to provide legal assistance in immigration proceedings to children who come to the U.S. illegally.

Officials say about 100 lawyers and paralegals will be enrolled as members of AmeriCorps in a new division called "justice AmeriCorps." It's a partnership between the Justice Department and the agency that administers AmeriCorps, the Corporation for National and Community Service.

Attorney General Eric Holder said Friday the new program represents, in his words, "a historic step to strengthen our justice system and protect the rights of the most vulnerable members of society."

The government estimates that 60,000 to 90,000 children traveling alone could be apprehended at the U.S.-Mexican border this year, many times the number taken into custody in recent years.