“Since the surge of child migrants began flooding over the U.S.-Mexico border last summer, only 352 child migrants have succeeded in having their removal proceedings stopped or administratively closed – a step toward asylum or special immigrant juvenile status – while 4,711 children without counsel were ordered removed or compelled to accept voluntary departure.
“On the other hand, 2,459 children with legal counsel succeeded in having their removal proceedings terminated or administratively closed – seven times the number of those without legal representation. Only 1,096 of the child migrants with lawyers were ordered removed or took voluntary departure, or just a little less than a quarter of the total for child migrants without legal representation ordered out of the country.
“Immigrant advocates have been critical of the government”s response, saying most of the children were fleeing extreme violence and threats and should have been granted asylum.
“”The federal government”s response to the large influx of Central American children coming in has been nothing short of a policy that undermines our basic humanitarian and asylum laws,” said Greg Chen, director of advocacy for the American Immigration Lawyers Association.”