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