Although at times a dense read, Lawyering an Uncertain Cause is invaluable in its illumination of the complex technical and personal processes that determine the legal fate of undocumented, unaccompanied Chinese youth in the US legal system. The youth in this book are from Fujian, generally from small towns, and with relatively low educational levels. Whether they are technically “trafficked” or not, or whether they themselves are complicit in their own self-trafficking is, as Michele Statz makes very clear, uncertain. But they do arrive in the United States at a critical juncture in their lives. They may be relatively seasoned, autonomous, and savvy at ages approaching eighteen, but in the United States they are still legally children. Being under eighteen, they are—again in strictly legal terms—not fully autonomous actors. When they are apprehended, they are processed under specific government regulations as unaccompanied minors and placed in special facilities, and their...

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