SoCal Civil Court Backlogs With Child Immigration Cases

Southern California Public Radio has an important new piece on how Los Angeles courts are handling the immigration crisis of unaccompanied Central American children. Reporter Dorian Merina quotes one judge noting that “… other federal judges hear about 500-600 cases a year” while typical immigration judges in L.A. hear three times as many, or up to 1,600 on average.
 
The judge explains that the situation “.. has led to an historic backlog of cases in the immigration court system nationwide” and that there are about 375,000 pending cases as of June this year, the highest it’s ever been, according to government enforcement.
 
The report also addresses the issue of legal representation, saying that “… of the 7,729 juvenile cases currently in the L.A. courts, just under half, or 3,516, face proceedings without a lawyer, according to TRAC data. (Unlike criminal cases, immigration courts are considered administrative hearings and attorneys are encouraged, but not guaranteed.)”
 
It’s a troubling report from the nation’s largest immigration court: LA’s immigration courts overwhelmed by child migrant cases

Writer Calls Out U.S. Policy On Border-Children Crisis

The writer Ruben Navarrette is citing MLK and Democratic governors in a new CNN piece that also says the Obama Administration is misleading the public about what is actually happening to unaccompanied Central American children seeking refuge in the United States.
 
Navarette, who is also a Daily Beast online columnist and syndicated nationally via the Washington Post Writers Group, begins by citing the civil rights icon: “In his epic ‘Letter from the Birmingham Jail,’ the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. observed that ‘justice too long delayed is justice denied.’ But now that the Obama administration is fast-tracking the deportation of thousands of undocumented minors, perhaps hoping to get rid of them before the November elections, it’s clear that expedited justice is just as bad.”
 
The writer adds that, “… despite the President’s claim that there is no rush in returning the children and due process would be preserved, the reality is much different. Kids are given court dates they can’t possibly be expected to make — often in another state. Many don’t have lawyers. Deportation cases are being rushed through the pipeline.”
 
He also suggests that the crisis might become a 2016 presidential election issue, noting that “… Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley, a possible contender for the Democratic nomination in 2016, warned that the administration was giving the migrant children death sentences. O’Malley told a gathering of the National Governors Association in Nashville, Tennessee: ‘We are not a country that should turn children away and send them back to certain death.'”
 
It is one of the strongest indictments yet of how the U.S. is handling the crisis, and you can read it at CNN here: Fast-tracking children to possible death