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Expedited Immigration Hearings in NYC For Minors

Thursday, August 14, 2014

A Salvadorian family waits at the Greyhound bus station for their trip to Houston on July 25, 2014 in McAllen, Texas. (John Moore/Getty)

A federal immigration court in Manhattan that usually deals with less than 100 children's cases a month is getting a lot busier.

Twenty-nine unaccompanied minors appeared before a judge Wednesday. It was the first day of "surge docket" hearings. Then next week: A double-docket with 65 cases awaits; an average of 30 cases will become the daily norm from now on.

Tens of thousands of undocumented minors have crossed the U.S. border on their own this year. The federal government has decided to expedite their immigration hearings in immigration courts all over the country.

New York has the second-highest number of arrivals: A total of 3,347 minors have been brought here since January. Texas has the most.

Local advocate groups have been scrambling to ensure the children have legal representation.

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