Instead the government has been speeding through deportation hearings. TRAC, a Syracuse University policy group, recently reported that, on average, juveniles in Phoenix waited only 66 days before their cases were heard by an immigration judge. In contrast, other immigration cases in Phoenix had an average wait time of 805 days. Juvenile cases were processed even faster in Omaha, Neb., where the average wait time was 10 days compared with 840 days for all other cases.
This breakneck pace raises serious concerns about whether Central American migrant children are receiving due process of law. Are they getting legal representation? Do they have the opportunity to develop and present their asylum claims? Every immigrant is entitled to a full and fair hearing.
More fundamentally, the Obama administration and Congress need to recognize that deporting more migrant children will not stop others from fleeing violence and poverty in Central America. Enforcement measures like higher walls and more armed guards are poor deterrents.