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Courts seek to work through juvenile immigration cases quickly

The fear of deportation is very real for many who reside in the state of Florida. Though a scary process, with depending on the final decision, possibly an even scarier outcome, the receipt of a notice to appear does not necessarily mean that someone will be deported. It does mean that they will have to fight for the right to stay in the United States however.

Traditional deportation proceedings may take several months to complete fully during which time the person, whose status is in question, can try to make a case as to why they should be able to stay. Making a case for this can be time consuming which in some cases means the more time available, the better.

While individuals of all backgrounds and ages could find that they are facing a deportation, as of late, throughout the nation the focus has been unaccompanied minors who entered the country without their parents or proper documentation. The high number of minors has left the immigration system reeling and prompted some immigration courts to set up accelerated dockets. Immigration courts in Miami did this based on orders issued by the Obama administration.

This practice, which does not involve hiring additional judges, is pushing other cases on the dockets back. In addition it is forcing some minors into court before they have time to properly build a case. For example, the amount of time may be too short for documentation such as birth certificates to be located. In addition, it may be difficult for those children to secure much needed representation for these proceedings.

Having the time to secure counsel and obtain records is important because some of these young people may be qualify for special immigrant juvenile status. To secure this green card, a minor must show that he or she was abandoned, abused or neglected by his or her family, before entering the United States. This green card is not easy to secure and the inability to prepare properly for the proceeding makes the likelihood of success even lower.

Source: Tampa Bay Times, “Miami, Orlando immigration courts fast track juvenile deportation proceeding,” Anna M. Phillips, Aug. 10, 2014

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