Backlogged NY Immigration Courts Leave Most Children Without Lawyers

Backlogged NY Immigration Courts Leave Most Children Without Lawyers

According to federal court data collected by the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC) at Syracuse University, there are more than 88,000 backlogged immigration cases that involve undocumented minor children across the nation. Although the number of unaccompanied immigrant children entering the U.S. has dropped, the number of backlogged cases has grown. Immigration courts have become increasingly chaotic under the heavy burden of the current administration’s policy changes and crackdown on immigration enforcement. Most undocumented children have been left in limbo. As of September, 2017, there were almost 5,000 cases in California immigration courts pending that involve undocumented immigrants under the age of 18. Texas has 3,245 such cases pending, and New York has 2,879 cases. All of these youth are at risk of deportation until a judge makes a decision in their cases. About two-thirds of these minors have no attorneys to represent them in immigration court, which puts them at a huge disadvantage and at a much higher risk of deportation. It’s not necessarily that the children don’t have options in terms of a legal pathway to remaining in the U.S.; it’s more that they don’t have the knowledge or legal assistance necessary to access that pathway. Changes in immigration policy under the Trump administration prevent these cases from closing; these delays make it impossible or impractical for many immigration lawyers to take on the cases of children who need them most. While the prior administration prioritized the cases of minor immigrant children and placed them on a fast-track immigration court docket, the Trump administration now has ended that practice. Undocumented immigrant children previously had to have an immigration court hearing within 90 days; this deadline no longer exists. Landerholm Immigration, A.P.C. is an Oakland immigration law firm who has dedicated their practice to protecting the interests of immigrants who are seeking to remain in the U.S. and facing potential deportation, including minor children and adults. We are prepared to build the strongest case possible in order to defend you against deportation. Contact us today to set up your legal consultation and discover what assistance we can offer to you and your family.
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