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Gabrielle Banks, Houston Chronicle, Dec. 4, 2020
"Eighteen youths, including an 11-year-old, are facing expedited removal proceedings in which Houston-area immigration judges ordered them to hand over complicated documentation on short notice Friday. Most of these local unaccompanied minors from Central America received new scheduling orders in mid-November and suddenly had to deliver documentation about trauma and hardship they faced back home — evidence that normally takes months for lawyers to compile while they develop rapport with young clients, said Megan McKenna, spokesperson for Kids in Need of Defense, which represents 10 of the minors. ...“The Trump administration has attacked the immigration system in unprecedented ways over the past four years,” said Stephen Yale-Loehr, who teaches immigration law at Cornell University. “This memo is just the latest salvo in their dying days to send people who have faced persecution back to their home countries.” ... Yale-Loehr said the “enhanced case flow” policy is a part of a series of memos and executive decisions by Trump appointees aimed at making it tougher for immigrants to get relief and remain in the U.S. The flagships among 400-some policy memos are the order to stop entries at the border during the COVID-19 pandemic, the “Remain in Mexico” edict and an order under Attorney General Jeff Sessions that said that victims of domestic violence or gang violence could not qualify for asylum. The twin goals, Yale-Loehr said, are to speed up the docket and deter people from trying to come to the U.S."