From Susan Gamboa
The case of an 11-year-old girl ordered only deported attracts the attention of overburdened immigration courts and the consequences of the minor mistakes, since courts are trying to continue with the political priorities of the administration and juggling to increase and reorganize cases.
The federal immigration judge in Houston signed March 12 the deportation order of Laura Mardiago-Alvarado, originally from El Salvador, and the case gradually attracted more publicity.
In response to a lawyer request – and one day after the lawyers' hearing in Houston, represented by US representative Shila Jackson Lee, D-Texas – the judge opened the Laura case and ordered a new hearing in Houston on May 20 , according to the Immigration Review Office and lawyer of Laura Silvia Mintz.
"The fact that the case is reopened so quickly shows the willingness of the court to correct the clerical error that occurred," Mintz told NBC News on the evening.
The decision to deport has caused anger, and even fueled angry tweets by Houston police chief Art Avvedo.
"Yes, the Nazis are enforced by their laws. You do not separate the children from their families! Ever!" He said. part of a series of tweets.
The deportation order is due to a mistake that arose after the girlfriend's scheduled hearing for February, her mother and her sister were postponed due to the government's closure by March 12th.
Laura was with her mother and sister in court for the hearing on March 12, but the family was told by an interpreter Laura did not appear indicted with members of his family. The deportation order incorrectly states that Laura was not present at the March 12 hearing and that she had no good reason why she was not being questioned.
Laura's mother, Dora Alvarado, learned that her daughter was ordered to be deported for another mistake. On March 12, it was due to appear three days earlier – on March 9th. Laura's mother mistakenly thought that the court wanted to appear on April 9, because since March 9 has already passed. She was waiting for the court all day and she was never called. She returned the next day, and when she learned that her daughter was ordered to be deported, Mintz said.
An elderly daughter went to a high school counselor with a document to explain her and the counselor put the family in touch with the immigration advocacy group, Phil Houston.
"These mistakes should not happen. Imagine if she did not show up and understood it," Mintz said. "I care about all the other people who have suffered a mistake from court and do not know how to seek help."
What exactly happened to cause the error to fail. But Mintz said he thinks the mistake is the product of the recruited staff and the overload of cases that are now typical of immigration courts.
"This case fell through the cracks somewhere after the closure of the government," Mintz told NBC News on Tuesday.
The family seeks asylum after the death of Laura's father in El Salvador. Another family member was also killed, and one died while crossing the border in Piedras Negras. The lawyer did not have clear details of the available deaths.
Immigration courts have been burdened for years, but the 34-day cessation of the government, which began on December 21, 2018 – the longest in history – forced the redistribution of tens of thousands of immigration cases.
"This is understandable because thousands of cases had to be rescheduled, so of course mistakes will happen," Mintz said. "But this shows how much a mistake, poorly intentional or not, can cause devastation in the family and cause division of the family."
Cesar Espinosa, a spokeswoman for FIL Houston, who helped Laura and her family find legal aid, said that Laura's media attention was paid to the media, the lawyers contacted the group to share judicial mistakes that affected their clients.
Amber Grassi, a senior lawyer for Naimeh Salem and associates in Houston, said he was seen as an instigator in judicial errors since the start of the Trump administration.
She is present in court three times a week and at least one day a sort of problem arises from an error or error in the court. She was in court on Tuesday, the same day she spoke to NBC News in a telephone interview, and someone was in the courtroom for a scheduled hearing but was not listed.
Off is a heated overloaded system
Gracia said she received notices to appear in an immigration court for other lawyers or for persons without a lawyer. A court sent the notice late last year, rejecting a request for asylum from the immigrant, and the person was only 30 days to respond. While she received the notification, they spent at least three days. The man got lucky and could find it through the court, said Grasia.
Aside from mistakes, the rescheduled hearing during exclusion increased lives. Gracia said the client was due to receive her last hearing on her green card-based marriage and was eager to see her family after 10 years. But, due to exclusion, her hearing was rescheduled for a date three years from now.
"We can ask the court to move forward, but it's up to the court, and now it's overflowing with overburdeness," Grasia said.
Long before the exclusion, the American Bar Association called for reform of the courts due to its backlogs and poor sub-resources.
In a report released in March, the Bar Association said that from a review of the judicial system in 2010, things deteriorated "significantly".
The same issues that the bar identified in its report nearly a decade ago – inadequate staffing, training and employment; growing backlash; inconsistent decision makers in judges, especially in cases of asylum and the adoption of video-conferencing technology that hinders fair hearings – continue to torture the courts, say the Bar Association.
The situation has worsened since the years of inaction of the congress on immigration reform, while the forced use of immigration has increased. They are arranged on everything that is the policies of this administration and the shifting of priorities for the courts.
Around 855,000 cases were underway at immigration courts on February 28, according to the Accessible Clearing Access Center at Syracuse University, which collects and publishes data on the judicial system. That's more than 300,000 that were under way at the end of January 2017, when President Donald Trump assumed office.
Congress increased funding to add more judges, but did not provide personnel for many of them, Ashly Tabaddor, president of the National Association of Immigration Referees, a voluntary group said.
Many judges have no courts and neither move from the courtroom in the courtroom, nor do they work in decision-making centers where they hold hearings through a teleconference. These systems violate the continuity of the plugs. Many judges have no lawyers, translators and support staff. The courts have backed up 5,000 cases with debates a year ago in advance that they need to reconstruct, while the administration is changing its cases in which it wants to be given priority, she said.
"They do not regard us as judges or judges. They see us as some type of factory or element; they constantly think that they can continue to change the element for other parts," she said.
Jackson Lee, who plans to reintroduce enlargement laws and a better immigration court, said the Laura case should be a call to awaken the courts, their operational resources and the political influence of administration on the courts.
She is questioned whether the judges receive real information about the cases.
"Whether you sign the order, do you know it's 11 years old?" Asked Jackson Lee.
"We do not know if there are other cases that have never come to light that children are deported (alone)," she told NBC News. "You need to ask a question, what's happening in these courts?"
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