According to an analysis of federal data by Syracuse University’s Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC), which represents a forum for comprehensive, independent, and non-partisan tracking of information relating to immigration court cases, children without lawyers are more likely to be expelled from the country than children with legal representation. Strikingly, the clearinghouse found that children with attorney representation were six times more likely to be able to stay in the United States than children without lawyers. Only a third of unaccompanied minors whose cases were filed in immigration court in the 2014 fiscal year had legal representation. As of October 31, 2014, TRAC determined that there were 10,424 cases of child immigrants without legal representation pending before the New Jersey and New York Immigration Courts.
Using a decade’s worth of court records, TRAC found that whether or not an unaccompanied juvenile had an attorney was the single most important factor influencing the case’s outcome. Since immigration law is considered the most complex area of law other than tax law, it has been shown that finding appropriate legal counsel is critical to immigrant juveniles ability to legally adjust their status in the United States.
At the Shulman Law Group, LLC, we have represented hundreds of immigrant children and teenagers. Whether their cases warranted court appearances or were able to be handled administratively, our firm has successfully assisted them in achieving relief from removal and facilitating the legalization of their status in the United States. Often times these children are without family members or guardians to protect them and they are unfamiliar with the law, the immigration process, the language, and the culture. Our lawyers and staff are extremely sensitive to the specific needs of unaccompanied minors, understand the import of establishing trust, and are poised to help to guide them in the most sympathetic and supportive ways. Several of our staff members are immigrants themselves who came to the United States as children so they have an acute ability to relate to the struggles of starting a new life in a new country without a support network.