Lawyer, Location Not Law, Determine Fate Of Asylum-Seeking Children

Access to a lawyer and location of their case is very much more likely to determine the fate of “Border Kids” than laws or other factors, according to a POLITICO analysis that found a “very uneven brand of justice” in U.S. immigration courts. The analysis of government data “… shows that fully 88 percent of the removal orders issued since July have gone to children without an attorney. What’s more, a juvenile assigned to judges in Texas, North Carolina and Georgia in the past 16 months was at least three times more likely to receive such an order than a child in California, Florida or New York.”
The resulting POLITICO story implies that the Obama Administration’s “hall pass” on the crisis, which exploded into headlines last summer but diminished in the wake of reform promises, is nearly expired. The D.C.-based publication wrote that “… the same humanitarian crisis that gripped the White House and Congress last year is now a less visible one of American justice. And it still poses a major test for the Obama administration, which promised compassion and fairness in the treatment of the child migrants but also contributed to the current problem by expediting deportation proceedings.”
The report is likely a game-changer because it documents the range of outcomes under a “single federal system,” which illustrates it’s anything but a single system. The research compares and contrasts outcome, documenting that “… the number of removal and voluntary departure orders in Texas and North Carolina was 3.5 times the level in California and Florida.