Bar association seeks free legal counsel for asylum-seekers in fast-tracked deportation proceedings – Border Report

wp header logo 1325
Spread the love

New TRAC data: Over 72,000 migrants placed in Dedicated Docket program
by: Sandra Sanchez
Over 72,000 migrants and families have been placed in a fast-track deportation program called the Dedicated Docket. Many families arrived after President Joe Biden took office, like these migrants in McAllen, Texas, in August. (Sandra Sanchez/Border Report File Photo)
McALLEN, Texas (Border Report) — The American Bar Association has launched a nationwide campaign to enlist pro bono lawyers to help asylum-seekers who are being fast-tracked through deportation proceedings in a “Dedicated Docket” program in which, Border Report has learned, over 70,000 migrants have been placed.
As of Dec. 31, the Departments of Justice and Homeland Security have placed 72,289 asylum-seekers into the Dedicated Docket fast-track immigration proceedings, according to new data provided to Border Report by Transactional Access Records Clearinghouse (TRAC) of Syracuse University, which tracks all U.S. immigration cases.
The TRAC report, to be released in upcoming days, found that only a small percentage of migrants placed in the Dedicated Docket is actually getting legal counsel.
Austin Kocher, a TRAC researcher, told Border Report on Wednesday: “In a forthcoming report, we show that even though the administration has acknowledged the importance of legal representation, only 15% of all cases have representation, so far. Lack of legal representation makes it harder for immigrants to apply for asylum or get a positive outcome.”
On Wednesday, the ABA announced its Pro Bono Matters for Families Facing Deportation program to solicit lawyers to help migrants get free legal advice. The organization is looking for lawyers to help migrants who are placed in the Dedicated Docket fast-track immigration proceedings in these 11 cities:
The Biden administration started the Dedicated Docket program last May as a way to help clear the backlogged cases of asylum-seekers.
Immigration judges must issue case decisions within 300 days of a migrant’s initial hearing for those who have been placed in the fast-track program in the 11 cities.
Nevertheless, case backlogs now are approaching 1.6 million, TRAC reports.
Legal advocates say without quick legal counsel, these migrants could be quickly deported and stand no chance in gaining asylum into the United States.
In August, over 11,000 new cases were added to the docket, and that prompted TRAC to issue a report expressing concerns about the program.
The report “Immigration Court Struggling to Manage Its Expanding Dedicated Docket of Asylum-Seeking Families,” found that “alongside the growing number of asylum-seekers assigned to the new Dedicated Docket, new questions emerge about whether these cases will be completed fairly and within the promised timeline, whether Immigration Judges will be able to manage large Dedicated Docket caseloads, and whether the Court is reliably tracking these cases as promised.”
“The need for pro bono lawyers right now is huge,” ABA President Reginald Turner said in a statement.
“The ABA believes that all families facing deportation deserve meaningful access to legal counsel. Given the violence that many asylum-seekers and immigrants face in their home countries, this is often literally a matter of life and death.”
Sandra Sanchez can be reached at
Copyright 2022 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
MEXICALI, (Border Report) — The governor of Baja California is drawing criticism for traveling to California to give birth.
The office of Gov. Marina del Pilar Ávila Olmeda confirmed the Friday birth of her son, Diego José Torres Avila.
TIJUANA (Border Report) — Independent photojournalist Margarito Martínez was assassinated Monday morning outside his Tijuana home. His body was found in the driver’s seat of his car.
Initial reports show the assailant approached Martínez from the side of the vehicle and shot him through the window.
AUSTIN (Nexstar) — On Monday, ahead of the Electric Reliability Council of Texas’ deadline to submit its final weatherization & inspection report Tuesday, the council briefed the new board of directors on weatherization progress so far.
“We found 10 potential deficiencies at dispatchable generation sites. We didn’t find any at the intermittent renewable resource sites. We found six at the transmission service providers facilities,” weatherization and inspection director David Kezell outlined.
The mission of is to provide real-time delivery of the untold local stories about people living, working and migrating along the U.S. border with Mexico. The information is gathered by experienced and trusted Nexstar Media Group journalists hired specifically to cover the border.


Read Previous

Join Nnamdi Kanu’s case against Nigeria, IPOB American lawyer writes US – Punch Newspapers

Read Next

China’s Economy Is Slowing, a Worrying Sign for the World – The New York Times

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.