Criticism over slow processing times and system backlog has led immigration courts to speed up the cases for Central American children detained at the border.
Generally when an undocumented alien is detained at the border for attempting to illegally enter the United States they are given a date to report to court for an initial hearing. Often, due to a large backlog of cases the hearing may not be scheduled months and sometimes even over a year.
Children detained at the border will now be granted their initial hearing within three weeks. While many Americans are praising this decision to process and potentially deport these children in a timely manner, some fear that the three week expedited hearing does not allow the child to obtain competent legal counsel.
With a shortage of pro-bono attorneys to represent these children, many wonder if three weeks is enough time prepare a case arguing that the child should remain in the country legally.
Ultimately immigration judges need to ensure that each child has been given proper due process to avoid any unnecessary appeals. There is a fine line between speeding up cases to promote efficiency, and speeding up cases too fast that may lead to mistakes resulting in even more delay.