Fox News Nails The Border-Child Attorney Issue

The headline nails the story for a Fox News report: “Will illegal immigrant kids stay or be sent home? Depends if they have a lawyer.” The report cites a recent report from the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse at Syracuse University. The report traces the status of more than 100,000 cases involving juveniles clogging the system, and Fox reports that “… in cases where the child had an attorney, they were allowed to stay in the United States nearly half the time. Children who appeared in court alone or without any type of legal representation were deported nine out of 10 times.”

Fox boils it down: “Because crossing the U.S. border without authorization or documentation is a civil offense and not a criminal one, the government is not required to provide children — no matter how young — with publicly funded counsel. But legal representation is a key factor.” Given that having representation takes you from a one-in-ten chance of staying to a “more than 50-50” shot, Fox shows a certain gift for understatement. See the report here:

D.C. And L.A. Getting More ‘Border Children’

The Los Angeles Times is breaking down where the children caught illegally crossing the border are going, noting that cities like Washington with large populations from the originating countries are getting the most newcomers. The Times says reports that D.C. “… is home to an estimated 165,000 Salvadoran immigrants, the nation’s second-largest population after the Los Angeles area’s 275,000, according to the Migration Policy Institute. The capital region had 42,000 immigrants from Guatemala and 30,000 from Honduras.”

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Administration for Children and Families reports that 2,234 unaccompanied minors were released to sponsors in Virginia between Jan. 1 and July 7, ranking the state fifth after Texas, New York, Florida and California. It’s not noted in the story, but those numbers are expected to accelerate as tens of thousands of children being held are processed into the Immigration Court system.

Border Cases Expedited Over Backlog

The tens of thousands of “border children” immigration cases are being moved to the front of the line in immigration courts, often moving ahead of people who have waited for years to have their day in court, says a Sacramento Bee newspaper report. The story follows a San Francisco immigration court where two judges were assigned “special dockets.”
“The border surge cases are now getting top billing on our dockets, and this immigration court has already been resource-deprived to the point of being anorexic,” said one of the judge quoted in the report. That judge had 2,482 cases on her docket July 25, before the surge of cases began arriving.
The flood of new cases is straining a court that was already overtaxed before tens of thousands of children started crossing illegally into the United States, says the report.

Mercury News Blasts Border Crisis Response

The San Jose Mercury News is blasting the government response to the border crisis of unaccompanied children, saying that  “… surely the United States will meet this hemisphere’s crisis in a humane manner befitting its history” and outlining that the “policy” crisis is really a funding crisis.

“Republicans have wanted to fund enforcement but not judges,” asserts the paper. “There are just 243 nationwide. Los Angeles County alone has more than 400 judges on its Superior Court. There’s no way the immigration judges can keep up, let alone catch up… refugees from violence are a worldwide challenge. People fleeing wanton slaughter in places like Somalia, Syria and Uganda often end up in nearby countries that are ill-equipped for the influx. But they try.”

The editorial is being picked up around California, and you can read it here: Another View: July 21, 2014