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89.3 KPCC
May 14, 2015

Despite being given priority, migrant youth still face high rate of deportation in LA's immigration courts
By Dorian Merina


Nine months after the Justice Department announced a policy to speed up cases for migrant youth, more than half the juveniles in Los Angeles' immigration courts have nevertheless been ordered deported, according to data obtained by KPCC. None were granted asylum. The data, acquired through a Freedom of Information Act request from the Department of Justice, also show that more than half of the migrant youth faced a judge without an attorney the single most important factor in determining the outcome, according to a 2014 study by Syracuse University's Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse. The FOIA data are from July 18, 2014, through April 20, 2015, and cover 471 completed unaccompanied minor cases in the Los Angeles jurisdiction. All of the children were processed through a priority docket, a designation that the Justice Department made in 2014 in response to the surge of child migrants. Of those cases in L.A., 287 juveniles were ordered removed. Nationwide, unaccompanied minors rose to 68,541 in fiscal year 2014, prompting a debate over the workings of a complex and overwhelmed immigration court system. The following graphs show a snapshot of how these cases are playing out in L.A.


Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse, Syracuse University
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