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Los Angeles Times
July 17, 2014

Opinion: Undocumented minors without lawyers don't stand much of a chance
By Scott Martelle

According to a new analysis of nearly 102,000 cases of detained undocumented, unaccompanied minors going back a decade and through the end of June, fewer than half had legal help during the immigration hearing on whether they met the criteria to be allowed to stay in the United States (more on that criteria in a moment). Of those who had lawyers, and whose cases have closed, almost half won permission to stay. Of those standing alone, with no legal help to make their case, 9 out of 10 were deported. The analysis was done by the nonpartisan Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse at Syracuse University, which obtains large data blocks from the federal government on immigration, drug enforcement, the Internal Revenue Service and other government policies and agencies. Under its Immigration Project, TRAC charts the recent surge in detentions along the Mexican border and counts an overall backlog of nearly 42,000 cases a backlog that is growing. In fact, since this surge began in 2011, there have been more than 52,000 new cases, of which more than 38,000 or 73% are still pending.

Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse, Syracuse University
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