The majority of the 66,000 undocumented children who have crossed the southwest border and surrendered do not have attorneys. Immigration advocates throughout the United States are desperately seeking immigration attorneys to help represent these children, some as young as 6 years old. The Immigration Courts around the nation are now packed with these children and this is causing havoc with the existing removal proceeding cases as well.
President Obama has ordered these cases to be fast-tracked which, unfortunately, leads to a high risk of errors and, in some cases, violation of due process. Before the surge of undocumented children, immigration judges were already juggling more than 375,000 cases with some waiting 3 years or more for their next hearing. Now, with the surge of children who are being thrust to the front of the line, the court docket is even more crowded.
New York and San Francisco have actually allocated funds to pay for immigration lawyers for the undocumented children. Meanwhile, the American Immigration Lawyers Association in South Florida is seeking immigration attorneysto help with the overcrowded docket.