Florida residents may be surprised to learn that children can be quiet victims in the immigration process. They are often unseen and rarely heard; therefore, if they do not have parents, guardians or advocates, they could get lost in the shuffle.
Immigration issues tend to occur near border states where people try to pass into the United States from a foreign country. However, parents may get separated from their children, and in some cases, fearful children may be traveling alone. Among those who cross the US borders, many children who travel alone were sent by their parents in hopes that they may have better lives.
The Trump administration recently approved the expanded use of video hearings as far as court hearings regarding immigrant children are concerned. For example, during a recent pilot, a judge in Atlanta presided over a hearing in Houston while hundreds of children, some lacking representation, awaited outcomes. Many of these children were too young to understand what was happening and they relied on interpreters amidst technological difficulties, including issues with audio.
Children’s advocates argue that video hearings could contribute to an already overburdened immigration court system. In some cases, over 40 children a day have been seen in court, and the likelihood that video court proceedings could increase those numbers is high. Proponents of children attempting to enter the US fear that video hearings create an impersonal atmosphere; that is, body language and other signs may be overlooked as the court attempts to make important decisions.
Immigrating to the United States is no easy feat, and families struggling with language barriers and the lack of legal knowledge may find themselves at an impasse. An attorney who is experienced in immigration law may be able to help those who are trying to navigate through the immigration process.