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The Hayride
August 12, 2014

New Orleans Courts Buckling With Influx Of Illegal Immigrants
By John Binder

New Orleans immigration courts are facing a tough year as they attempt to handle the overwhelming influx of illegal immigrants pouring into the state of Louisiana. As of today, there are approximately 1,071 illegal immigrant children in the state, which means New Orleans courts are becoming more and more strained. Just in the past six months, the New Orleans immigration court has taken on 450 juvenile immigrant cases, according to Syracuse University’s Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC). The influx of cases is set to break a record for the Big Easy court system. Last year, the New Orleans immigration court dealt with 540 cases throughout the entire year. Three years ago, TIME Magazine points out that number was at 71 juvenile immigrant cases. But, New Orleans is simply one piece to the immigration, Southern Border problem. New Orleans’ struggle is part of a pattern. Nationwide, immigration courts have become choke points in the border crisis. Overburdened and underfunded, they are sagging under the weight of the new arrivals, with enormous case backlogs and a lack of attorneys able to perform work that must often be pro bono, or without charge. At the end of June, the number of cases pending in U.S. immigration courts had climbed to a record high of 375,503, according to data amassed by TRAC. The largest backlogs are in states with the biggest immigrant populations, such as California and Texas, which have also received the greatest number of unaccompanied minors.

Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse, Syracuse University
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