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Special Report: What happened to the immigrants that crossed

with that in mind … we set out to answer some questions. after being released did they show up for their immigration hearings? and are they being allowed to stay – or are they being deported? we hoped the answers would be clear cut … but that was far from the case. melissa 2:06 “one mother that w spoke to said my child stays here in honduras he faces certain death. he takes the journey to the u.s. he might survive. his possible survival is still better than his certain death.” melissa lopez is the executive director of diocesan migrant refugee services. when facilities in the executive director of diocesan migrant refugee services. when facilities in the rio grande valley of texas were overwhelmed last summer … she worked with many of the immigrants processed in el paso … before they were handed a court date and sent to other parts of the country. melissa 8:50 “when there is a constant influ of children we are trying to get out there as quickly as we can to make sure they know about their rights and we can warn them about things like not showing up for your immigration hearing has consequences.” “are they showing up for thes hearings? melissa 4:28 “it’s been our experienc that they are showing up. we have not had children who have just absconded and disappeared from the docket in huge numbers. docket in huge numbers. but i wanted concrete numbers. my first attempt to answer that question started with the u-s border patrol. they couldn’t answer that question but i did confirm … nearly 69- thousand unaccompanied minors entered the u-s through mexico in fiscal year 2014 … a majority from honduras, guatemala and el salvador … in fiscal year 2015 that number dropped 42% to fewer than 40- thousand. the border patrol recommended i reach out to immigration and customs enforcement under the department of homeland security to get numbers on deportations and immigration hearings. ice promised me deportation numbers … but despite close to a month of trying … those numbers never came. so, i tried the office of refugee resettlement. melissa 3:10 “orr goes through th process of trying to reunite them with either a family member in the u.s. or a family friend.” the o-r-r wanted to help … but told me to reach out to the executive office for immigration review … which is part of the justice department. they told me from july 18th, 2014 through december 23rd, 2014 … nearly 21,000 new cases involving unaccompanied children were identified. more than 4-thousand have been completed. 77% were given removal orders 69% of those were in absentia. they didn’t show up for their hearings. but remember … those are completed cases … and ‘in absentia’ ones are always resolved more quickly. for those who do show up … and are eventually allowed to stay … the process can take years … so as more cases are closed … we could see that more showed up for their hearings and more were allowed to stay. 12:44 rick question: the tracking system appears to be flawed, correct?” victor answer “absolutely. the tracking syste is built on trust. saying that you’ll show up when you say you’ll show up.” victor manjarrez is a one time border patrol sector chief and currently the project director for u-tep’s center for law and human behavior. he predicted last summer’s surge. 9:51 “those who have gone through th process initially it was close to 70% that were not showing up. those numbers have come down a bit and its close to 45-46%. it will probably stabilize at that number because that’s really the pool were dealing with. so, 1 in 2 is showing up” + “the could’ve started by going to chicago but could be in new york. they could be just about anywhere.” one more organization i reached out to … the transactional records access clearinghouse at syracuse university. based on their analysis i can tell you the average wait time for an immigration hearing is now nearly three years. and when a juvenile shows up and has a lawyer he or she has about a 50 percent chance of staying in the u-s. 9 out of 10 who show up without a lawyer end up deported. in las cruces… another property in the heart of the city has remained untouched for years. residents say its an eyesore. from our new mexico mobile newsroom … behind a chain link fence is the skeleton of an unfinished project. we don’t know what it was supposed to be, but the city says its privately owned… and 8 years ago construction suddenly stopped. it’s located on main street between amador and lohman. mayor ken miyagishima

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