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NY courts tackle 'surge docket' to handle immigrant children

We've previously written on this blog about the issue of illegal immigration of youth to the United States and the influx of immigration cases into New York. Earlier this month, New York judges began hearing cases involving immigrant children under what has become known as the “surge docket,” which refers to the hefty caseload involving these children. In total, over 63,000 children have come into the United States since last October, and most of these children end up coming to New York seeking asylum.

A major reason why so many of these cases have landed in New York City is that there is a batch of judges here who have the most lenient—or generous—asylum records in the nation. The immigration court in New York City currently grants asylum about 80 percent of the time. Compare that with 30 percent in Houston and 40 percent in Los Angeles and you’ll understand why we have these cases.


One of the important things for readers to remember is that success in immigration cases—regardless of the issue—is largely based on access to an experienced advocate. In fact, about 89 percent of those seeking asylum without an attorney are denied their request. In a way, this doesn't seem fair, but it is the reality of things.

Immigration law can be complicated and individuals who are facing the threat of deportation or looking to be granted asylum, or who have any other immigration-related need, do well to work with an experienced immigration attorney who can effectively advocate for his or her rights and interests.

Source: New York Post, “New York judges to start hearing child-immigrant cases,” Marisa Schultz, August 13, 2014. 

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