President Trump's expansion of immigrant criminality has seeped its way into immigrant courts across the nation, with more asylum seekers being deported. Thousands of families from El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala, and some from Mexico, came to the United States seeking protection from the increased gang violence of their regions. Increasingly, they are being ruled to leave the country that they felt was putting their lives in jeopardy.
Since 2014, 100,000 parents and children went in front of the immigration courts, with 32,500 of those cases regarding asylum. Around 70% of all immigration cases ended in the families being deported. As a result, many families have been cautious to approach lawyers to seek legal help, since the law is seemingly pitted against them.
With regards to asylum seekers and the law, immigration courts are much more different than the standard judicial court. The largest difference, other than the massive back-ups in the process, is that there is no right to government-paid counsel in immigration court. In addition, few lawyers go into the profession, partially due to lack of pay and support. Due to a combination of these things, less asylum seekers are approaching lawyers and showing up for court dates. In 2016, nearly 40% of all immigrant court hearings were missed by the asylee. Technically, after not showing up for this court date, makes these individuals the "illegals" many news outlets like to pen.
Immigrants, therefore, are set with a tough decision: face the unlikely odds of an immigration court, or becoming an illegal citizen and running from ICE.
By late January of this year, courts had granted asylum or otherwise allowed migrants to remain legally in this country in 3,792, or 11 percent, of those cases involving families, the figures show. However, over the last four years, asylum approval has dropped 13%, with the largest drop in 2015 and 2016.
OUR VERDICT: It is understandable that the immigrants are wary of the courts, since many of the cases are likely ruled against the asylee. Therefore, immigration reform is a step that the United States government needs to take, starting with the immigration courts. If you are an seeking asylum in the United States, and are in need of assistance, look at the following links: