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The Nation
July 2, 2018

Ever More Children Are Facing the Nightmare of Immigration Court on Their Own
By David F. Brand

Though the number of unaccompanied minors who have been apprehended at the southwest border decreased significantly during the 2017 fiscal year from its peak totals in 2014 and 2016, the United States has initiated more deportation proceedings against children in 2018 than in any other year for which data is available, according to the most recent data collected by Syracuse University’s Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse, or TRAC. (One factor complicating these statistics: the courts have recently made changes to the way that cases have been classified, making it difficult to compare this past year to preceding ones with complete accuracy.) The deep backlog of cases has pushed pro bono providers to capacity and fueled an increase in the number of children who appear in court without an attorney—even among those who crossed into the United States several years ago. Of the 158,136 children who began deportation proceedings between the start of the 2014 fiscal year and the end of the 2016 fiscal year, just under two-thirds, or 102,105 minors, have secured a lawyer to represent them, according to TRAC.

Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse, Syracuse University
Copyright 2018
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