Children arriving on border await fate in immigration courts

LOS ANGELES (AP) — When immigrant children stopped at the border want to stay in the U.S. legally, they must make their case in immigration courts.

The court system is complex and backlogged and getting a decision on cases may take months or years amid a massive backlog.

During a Tuesday session of immigration court in Los Angeles, a judge had more than 20 cases on her morning docket — all of them children’s cases, many of them asylum seekers.

Some had arrived a year or two ago. All had lawyers and were seeking asylum or applying to a government program that provides green cards to abused and abandoned children.

The government separated more than 2,300 children from their parents in recent weeks. The policy has stoked widespread outrage among both Democrats and Republicans.

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