We currently have two full time lawyers on staff serving these children. You may have seen a press conference in our office two weeks ago reported on in Newsday on the funding of the second position. We are doing full representation intakes for at least 15 new children each week. Typically a single attorney can represent 40 such cases in a year, so you can see that we will exceed existing capacity for the two lawyers by the end of March. We currently have more than 60 children who have full representation intakes already scheduled for the remainder of March.
CARECEN also has one of the attorneys spend every Friday at the Immigration Court at 26 Federal Plaza in Manhattan to speak to the children from Long Island before they go in for their first appearance before an immigration judge. The lawyer orients them to the legal system,advises the children on their rights, and begins the process of matching the child up with legal services. This work is done in coordination with a group of non-profit organizations put together by the New York Immigration Coalition.
Even the children who have had their first appearance in court do not have new hearings until this Spring or early Summer. The legal process has just begun for nearly all of them.