clear
Monday August 3rd, 2015 9:16AM

Immigration courts speed up children's cases

By The Associated Press
LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Immigration courts are speeding up hearings for the tens of thousands of Central American children caught on the U.S. border after criticism that the backlogged system is letting immigrants stay in the country for years while waiting for their cases to be heard.<br /> <br /> There are 375,000 cases before the immigration courts and many immigrants wait months or years for a hearing. Instead of bumping children to the back of that long line, the courts are now giving each child an initial court hearing within three weeks, according to the Justice Department's Executive Office for Immigration Review. A spokeswoman for the courts didn't answer questions about how many children's hearings had been set under the new plan, or which courts had scheduled additional hearings.<br /> <br /> Immigration lawyers have long sought a speedier process to prevent immigrants from having to wait years for an answer on their asylum or green card applications. Now, the concern is the opposite: that the courts are moving so quickly that the children might not have enough time to make a case that they should be allowed to remain in the country legally.<br /> <br /> The biggest worry is that children might not receive proper notice of hearings, and could wind up getting a deportation order if they fail to show up, immigration lawyers said. Advocates also say there aren't enough pro-bono immigration lawyers to go around and that it takes longer to prepare children's cases because it takes time to earn their trust.<br /> <br /> "When the hearing date is three months out, it's no big deal - it's plenty of time to get yourself a lawyer. When it's three weeks, that's nowhere near enough time," said Simon Sandoval-Moshenberg, an attorney with the Legal Aid Justice Center in Falls Church, Virginia.<br /> <br /> The rollout of the new system started in Los Angeles this week and is also being implemented in other immigration courts.<br /> <br /> On Wednesday, Judge A. Ashley Tabaddor scanned through the list of 22 children assigned to appear in her courtroom on a special youth docket. Nearly half were there, some wearing ponytails and shorts, sitting alongside parents and other relatives. She told them to come back in September with a lawyer. Others had moved elsewhere in the country, and their cases were transferred.<br /> <br /> Four didn't show up, but Tabaddor didn't give them deportation orders because they were only sent a notice of the hearing five days earlier.<br /> <br /> Immigration Judge Dana Leigh Marks, who heads the association of immigration judges, said the key is to ensure enough time is allotted to give the cases proper attention.<br /> <br /> "It's just not efficient to go so fast that challenges can be made to the due process," she said. "It ends up making the cases take longer overall and results in longer appeals, so no one is happy."<br /> <br /> The shift came after more than 57,000 children began arriving on the border last year fleeing violence in El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras. After they are released from custody, the children are put into deportation proceedings and given a hearing before an immigration judge.<br /> <br /> At immigration court in Los Angeles, 16-year-old Elmer Sandoval said he's worried about what might happen in the proceedings but not more than he was about staying in El Salvador, where gang members threatened to kill him if he didn't join their ranks. His older brother, who left the country for similar reasons 14 years ago, sent $7,000 for him to come north and the boy arrived in May.<br /> <br /> Jorge Sandoval, 34, said the boy would heed the court's instructions, whether that means he gets a lot, or little time, to present his case.<br /> <br /> "Whatever he has to do, he has to do," the elder Sandoval said.
© Copyright 2015 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Judge denies motions to move, delay Tsarnaev trial
Lawyers for Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev asked a federal appeals court Wednesday to overturn a judge's decision to not move his upcoming trial out of state.
10:02PM ( 7 months ago )
High court to adopt electronic filing of cases
The Supreme Court is belatedly developing an electronic filing system similar to those used in courts around the country, Chief Justice John Roberts said Wednesday in his annual end-of-year report.
7:57PM ( 7 months ago )
Storm brings snow, cold to West for New Year's
A blustery winter storm dumped snow and ice across the West on Wednesday, making driving treacherous in the mountains from California to the Rockies and forcing residents and party-goers in some usually sun-soaked cities to bundle up for a frosty New Year's.
5:19PM ( 7 months ago )
U.S. News
Grass fire impacts rush hour traffic on 985
Rush hour traffic on I-985 was slowed by a grass fire Wednesay afternoon with one lane closed while firefighters fought the blaze.
10:19PM ( 7 months ago )
Hall County conviction, sentencing to be reviewed by SCOGA
The State Supreme Court has agreed to hear the appeal of a Hall County man when they reconvene in January.
2:37PM ( 7 months ago )
Local/State News
Committee leaves transportation funding to lawmakers
Georgia will have to cover a $1 billion to $1.5 billion transportation funding gap to stay economically competitive, a committee of lawmakers is warning in a report issued Tuesday.
5:36AM ( 7 months ago )
US off war footing at year's end, but wars go on
Taking America off a permanent war footing is proving harder than President Barack Obama may have suggested.
6:13PM ( 7 months ago )
GOP leader regrets talk to white supremacists; party leaders rally around him
House Republican leaders rallied around one of their own, Whip Steve Scalise, on Tuesday after he said he regrets speaking 12 years ago to a white supremacist organization and condemns the views of such groups.
6:08PM ( 7 months ago )
Politics
Climate change: Obama orders steeper emissions cuts from power plants
Aiming to jolt the rest of the world to action, President Barack Obama moved ahead Sunday with even tougher greenhouse gas cuts on American power plants.
By The Associated Press
6:40PM ( 14 hours ago )
Some Americans refuse to give up on Confederate flag
Many Americans assumed the Confederate flag was retired for good
By Associated Press
6:30PM ( 14 hours ago )
Biden for President? Associates mulling Clinton challenge
Vice President Joe Biden's associates have resumed discussions about a 2016 presidential run after largely shelving such deliberations while his son was sick and dying earlier this year.
By The Associated Press
9:50AM ( 23 hours ago )
Atlanta airport again leads in number of guns found in bags
Atlanta's airport once again leads the nation in the number of guns found in carry-on bags.
By The Associated Press
6:49PM ( 1 day ago )
Judge blocks release of new recordings by anti-abortion group
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A federal judge on Friday blocked the release of any recordings made at meetings of an abortion providers' association by an anti-abortion group that previously revealed secretly...
8:30AM ( 2 days ago )