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Los Angeles Times
July 26, 2015

Immigrant lawyers handling a border surge: 'This is really an emergency room situation'
By Molly Hennessy-Fiske

The Obama administration is facing increasing political pressure to end family detention after expanding this year from one 95-bed detention center to three with a total of 3,700 beds. Late Friday, a federal judge in California sided with attorneys for children in detention, who said conditions at centers violate a 1997 consent agreement. She gave the administration until Aug. 3 to show why she should not hold them to the consent agreement, potentially ending family detention. The expansion followed an influx of Central American families and unaccompanied children crossing the southern border illegally last summer. One of critics' complaints about the centers: Families lack access to lawyers, who studies have shown play a decisive role in navigating complicated immigration cases. Less than 2% of immigrant families without attorneys were allowed to stay in the U.S., compared with 26% of those with attorneys, according to figures released last month by the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse at Syracuse University.

Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse, Syracuse University
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