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August 27, 2014

Rocket dockets may be jettisoning justice for immigrant children
By Dianne Solis

Without an attorney, deportation is a 90 percent certainty, according to a Syracuse University research center called the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse. More than 63,000 children have been apprehended this fiscal year crossing the border without a parent. Many were sent on the dangerous journey by their families, who hope they will find refuge from the poverty and gang violence of their home countries. Some come looking for their parents or other family already in the U.S. The number of apprehensions this year is already eight times that of 2008s. But the flow is slowing: In July, about 5,500 children were picked up, about half the 10,000 of June. Now the children are going through the nationís immigration courts, where there is a backlog of about 375,000 cases of adults and juveniles from around the world. Juvenile cases make up about a tenth of that backlog. In Dallas, the five immigration judges, who serve North Texas and the entire state of Oklahoma, have a backlog of about 5,200 adult and juvenile cases, according to TRAC of Syracuse.

Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse, Syracuse University
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