An influx of undocumented children crossing the border into the United States is approaching record-breaking levels. Officials with the Department of Homeland Security estimate that, as of mid-June, more than 52,000 kids have made the journey, compared with 45,000 for all of last year.
It’s not only border states that are feeling the effects of this increase. Undocumented minors arriving alone in the U.S. are held in detention centers where they’re apprehended, unless they have family or friends in another state. With a sizable Mexican immigrant population, New Jersey is seeing a rise in the number of kids being sent on to their courts.
“The only immigration court in the state of New Jersey is in Newark,” said Hank Kalet of NJ Spotlight. “There’s a separate juvenile docket, which usually meets once a week, but there’s only about 30 to maybe 50 attorneys in the state who deal with minors.”
He investigated the growing problem in the NJ Spotlight article “Undocumented children: the human face of New Jersey’s tragic immigration crisis.”