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Law 360
March 17, 2022

Toddlers Make Up 40% Of Kids' Immigration Court Cases
By Mike LaSusa

Just over 40% of children with new cases in the immigration courts are under the age of 4, while a third of new cases overall involve juveniles, a Syracuse University research organization reported Thursday. Since the start of the fiscal year in October, about one in every eight notices to appear issued by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security has gone to a toddler, and about one in three has gone to a child under the age of 18, according to government data published by Syracuse University's Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse. A notice to appear is the document that starts removal proceedings by telling migrants to show up for immigration court. The report said it was difficult to determine how many children were unaccompanied minors and how many were part of a family unit because the U.S. Department of Justice's Executive Office for Immigration Review, which oversees the immigration courts, stopped consistently tracking that data during the Trump administration. "This makes it difficult for the public or the court itself to monitor how these children are being handled, and whether their special needs are being adequately addressed as their cases move through the immigration court system," the researchers wrote in their report.

Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse, Syracuse University
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