By David Rogers
One year later, child migrants from Central America are still paying a heavy price for President Barack Obama’s decision last summer to rush them into deportation proceedings without first taking steps to provide legal counsel.
New government data this week offer a first, full-year tally for the immigration courts, and the numbers show that among the 13,451 cases completed since July 18, 2014, barely half the children had legal representation.
The picture has improved over time, but in 38 percent of the cases completed since last Christmas, the child was still without counsel. Even since mid-April, there have been an average of 100 case completions per week in which there is no record of a defense attorney.
At one level, this picture is skewed by the stubbornly high level of deportation orders issued by judges “in absentia,” when the child defendant does not appear in court. But migrant rights attorneys argue that this is a Catch-22 situation: Without access to counsel, more children stay away and have no realistic chance of appeal.
Sourced through Scoop.it from: www.politico.com
Freedom of movement. No double standards.
Between July 18 and October 21, immigration courts sped through 800 cases a week to begin processing the tens of thousands of child migrants who crossed the border into the U.S. this past summer, Politico reports. In the same span of time, judges issued 1,542 deportation orders and 94 percent of them went to children who faced their court proceedings without the aid of an attorney.
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The Obama administration, in a dramatic escalation of its border-control strategy, will seek
more than $2 billion in emergency funds to help stem an influx of Central American women and children entering the country illegally, as well as new measures to more quickly deport those already here, the White House confirmed Saturday.
President Obama intends to notify Congress of his request on Monday, and the administration will ask lawmakers to modify existing statutes to make it easier to return unaccompanied children to their home countries, an administration official said. The administration’s plans were first reported Saturday by the New York Times.
More than 52,000 unaccompanied children and 39,000 women with children have been apprehended on the border this year, officials said, a large increase over previous years. The surge, mostly from Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras, has caught the administration off guard and spurred Obama to order a multi-agency response to the crisis.
These children are fleeing for their life and now the U.S. is not going to give them asylum but instead send them back into harms way?