Attendance By Migrant Children At Immigration Hearings Higher Than Expected

Over the last several months as children from Central America arrived at the southern border to be apprehended by border agents, these children – as well as some of the adults accompanying them – were released to various shelters or private residences. But they were given notices to appear at court dates in cities which, in some instances, were quite far from where they were temporarily residing. Critics of these placements suggested that few of the migrant refugees would actually appear for their court dates.

But new information, released by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), indicates that a very high percentage of the children during a given period of time did make it to their hearing as scheduled.  Between July 18 and Sept. 30, the immigration courts received 10,041 cases of unaccompanied children.  Out of the 7,131 migrants whose cases were scheduled for a first hearing, known as the “master calendar, judges ordered 1,035 of them deported in absentia for not showing up. Roughly one out of seven failed to appear.

During that same period, the immigration courts received 11,516 cases of adults who arrived with children. Judges issued a removal order in absentia to about one-third of the adults, or 2,435 of the 7,244, who had a first hearing, according to the agency. So a significantly higher share of adult migrants are failing to appear than the children.

Those observing the hearings believe that those with stronger asylum cases to avoid removal are likely to come to court. And those with legal counsel are even more inclined to appear. It is difficult, at this juncture, to conclude that the juvenile refugees as a group have stronger claims for asylum in the United States.

The Shulman Law Group, LLC has successfully handled and effectuated many asylum cases.  The firm and its staff are well-versed in the nuances and underpinnings of claims of persecution involving individuals from many countries and pays close attention to the system devised recently to address the cases involving the child migrants from Central America.  What sets our firm apart from other law offices is that we skillfully prepare comprehensive applications that include country reports, autobiographical statements, affidavits from friends, family and colleagues, psychological evaluations, and expert witness testimonials–strategies that predispose the applicant to a higher probability of an approval. Our firm maintains an up-to-date knowledge on the latest case law which affects the manner in which these cases are reviewed.