Putting TRAC to Work
  Policy and Public Interest Groups
Migration Policy Institute
June 2021

Strengthening Services for Unaccompanied Children in U.S. Communities
By Mark Greenberg, Kylie Grow, Stephanie Heredia, Kira Monin, and Essey Workie

Representation appears to have a significant impact on both the court appearance rate and the outcome of cases for unaccompanied children. In an analysis of FY 2005–16 data from Syracuse University’s Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC) Immigration Project, the American Immigration Council found that 95 percent of children represented by an attorney appeared for their final court hearings, compared with 33 percent of unrepresented children. 2014 analysis by the TRAC Immigration Project found that 73 percent of unaccompanied minors who were represented in court were granted permission to stay in the United States, compared to 15 percent of unrepresented children. These large gaps in success rates for represented and unrepresented children are likely due to the difficulty of successfully defending oneself in immigration court, especially as a child. According to the Vera Institute of Justice, even for adults, “it is nearly impossible to win deportation cases without the assistance of counsel.

Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse, Syracuse University
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