New York begins hearing child immigrant cases

Undocumented minors in New York City went in front of the most lenient judges in the country on Aug. 13. According to the New York Post, the children stood in front of Judge Frank Loprest , who grants asylum to 88 percent of the cases he hears.

On average, 50 percent of undocumented immigrants are granted asylum during their deportation hearings, and the only other judges in the country allow undocumented immigrants to stay more than Loprest are his colleagues five who also reside in New York City.

The source reported that 80 percent of asylum seekers have been granted their request in New York City since 2009. Meanwhile, only 30 percent of those who requested asylum in Houston. About 40 percent of those seeking asylum in Los Angeles are granted it, the New York Post reported.

“They are very empathic,” Noemi Masliah, a New York immigration attorney, told the New York Post when discussing the judges. “They listen carefully to the evidence. It’s as if they feel like they are saving a life when they grant cases.”

More than 63,000 children have arrived at the U.S. border since October 2013. After Border Patrol agents detain unaccompanied minors at the border they are then released to family members who live in the U.S. Once they’re with family, the U.S. gives them a court date near the location they’re then living.

New York is often a destination for many of the undocumented minors, who are also more likely to be granted asylum by the city’s judges.

The Immigration Task Force was created to stop the expedited hearings and give the children arriving from countries such as Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador assistance. This task force was created just as the expedited hearings were beginning in New York City.

Through the task force, children and their families will be given free resources designed to increase their chance of being granted asylum, the Latin Post reported.

The goal of the task force is “to ensure that all children are protected from violence, abuse and exploitation regardless of their status,” Letitia James, a New York public advocate, told the Latin Post.