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November 27, 2017

Backlog in NY Immigration Court Leaves Most Undocumented Children Without Lawyers
By Monica Cordero, Clarissa Sosin and Annie Nova

Campos, who came to the U.S. from El Salvador when he was 17 years old to escape the pressure he was under to join a violent gang, had been unable to find a lawyer. His hands trembled as he gripped documents he had brought along. ďIím scared,Ē Campos said in Spanish. ďI donít know whatís going to happen.Ē Nor do most people involved in the immigration court at this moment. Camposís case is among more than 88,000 involving undocumented youths that are currently backlogged in the nationís immigration courts, according to federal court data compiled by the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC) at Syracuse University. Even as the overall number of undocumented children entering the U.S. has dropped, this backlog has grown, TRAC reports. Together with a lack of legal representation for many of these youths, immigration courts have become increasingly chaotic, according to attorneys representing undocumented immigrants and the non-profit groups that seek to assist them.

Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse, Syracuse University
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