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NJ Spotlight
July 26, 2016

Children of Fear: Who Speaks for New Jerseyís Youngest Undocumented Immigrants?
By Caren Chesler

As the flood of unaccompanied minors continues, the New Jersey courts canít seem to keep up. It can take years to adjudicate a case, a period in which childrenís lives are in limbo, and they are unable to receive affordable medical and psychological services they might be eligible for if they were here legally. When their cases finally are heard, the children still need a lawyer to help them prove to a federal judge that they were persecuted or abused, and many donít have the wherewithal to find representation. Without a lawyer, their case could be decided in absentia, and those donít turn out well. Of the 779 hearings involving juveniles that were decided in absentia, 767 resulted in removal orders in New Jersey, according to Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC) data from 2005 to March 2016.

Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse, Syracuse University
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