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Child immigrant advocates concerned with deportation orders

Some in North Carolina might share the opinion of advocates who have recently stated that a crisis that once involved issues of border-crossing is now primarily a due process crisis. Advocates for those involved in immigrant issues have expressed a growing concern with increasing numbers of ordered deportations of children. Part of the problem, they say, is that thousands are being ordered out of the country without being given appropriate notice of upcoming court hearings.

Since 2013, more than 7,000 child immigrants have reportedly been ordered deported. Many of them have allegedly never been notified of a scheduled court hearing. Some attorneys have said that notifications have often been delayed, lost or sent to an incorrect address.

Many of the children who crossed the borders of the United States in the past two years have reportedly done so unaccompanied by adults and in an effort to escape violence, abuse and poverty in their home countries. According to statistics from the Immigration and Customs Enforcement, nearly 2,000 unaccompanied child immigrants were deported from the United States during the 2014 fiscal year. Immigrant advocates have stated that, due to a mandate from the federal government for child deportation cases to be moved through the courts in an expeditious manner, the court system has been inundated with cases and is not properly equipped to handle the workload.

One judge stated that in child immigrant cases, she often offers a second opportunity to a child who fails to appear on his or her appointed court date. She noted that not all judges provide this courtesy, however. Legal professionals are available in North Carolina to assist those involved in immigration and naturalization cases. Seeking consultation with an attorney would most likely be beneficial to those facing deportation orders.

Source: Los Angeles Times, "Child illegal migration to U.S. slows but still flowing", Kate Linthicum, March 6, 2015

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