Senators Harry Reid, (D-NV), Dick Durbin (D-IL), Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Patty Murray (D-WA), and Bob Menendez (D-NJ) are introducing the “Fair Day in Court for Kids” bill to ensure that vulnerable asylum seekers including children get access to lawyers and post-release assistance programs. Wait, immigrant kids facing deportation don’t have the right to a lawyer? That’s right — unaccompanied Central American children seeking asylum in the U.S. are not guaranteed access to an attorney, and many of them are unable to pay for one.

“We can regulate our borders and uphold our values by providing due process to those fleeing some of the most dangerous countries in the world, and this legislation is a good step in ensuring due process and leveling the legal playing playing field,” Menendez told reporters in a conference call on Thursday.

Unlike defendants in criminal courts, immigrants challenging deportation orders (in civil courts) do not have the right to a lawyer. Many win the sympathy of pro bono lawyers and charities, but most face immigration hearings alone. Asylum seekers with lawyers succeed 46 percent of the time, while those without only win 16 percent of the time, according to a 2015 LSNC study. For minors, representation boosts success even more, with as many as three-fourths winning with an attorney at their side.

But can such a pro-immigrant bill, despite its narrow scope, pass through the jaws of a U.S. House of Representatives angry over Obama’s executive actions on immigration reform? Sen. Menendez believes it can if his colleagues sponsoring the bill can push the White House to make the legislation a priority.

“From my perspective it is not just a messaging bill,” Menendez said, adding that the White House should make it a “must pass bill.”

Menendez and his colleagues have been at loggerheads with the White House over 121 apprehensions of immigrants slated for deportation. More than 70 were quickly deported, while 33 are currently in limbo awaiting new hearings of their asylum applications. 

The administration has argued that enforcement measure are crucial to discourage more migrants from making the dangerous trip north from Central American Countries. DHS Sec. Jeh Johnson has said over the past few months that deporting failed asylum applicants is part of enforcing the law and in line with the administration’s deportation priorities. Menendez questioned the enforcement approach, saying that the raids are misguided.

“If I’m living in Central America and my choice is to die or to flee and take a chance, I’m going to take a chance, no matter what deportation policies the U.S. is carrying out.”