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Dozens of women and their children arrive at a bus station following release from CBP. Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Many young migrant children who have been separated from their parents will have to face deportation proceedings alone as the Trump administration works to reunite these families following a court order.

Why it matters: “We were representing a 3-year-old in court recently who had been separated from the parents. And the child — in the middle of the hearing — started climbing up on the table. It really highlighted the absurdity of what we’re doing with these kids,” Lindsay Toczylowski, executive director of Immigrant Defenders Law Center in Los Angeles, told Kaiser Health News.

Backdrop: Unlike many adults caught crossing the border illegally, unaccompanied migrant minors are not allowed to be placed in expedited deportation proceedings, which allows for removal without a hearing. This is why some separated parents have been deported without their children.

  • Unaccompanied minors have always faced their immigration hearings alone unless defended by a non-profit lawyer or represented by an eligible guardian.

One big yes, but: Most unaccompanied minors who cross the border are young teenagers, while the children who cross with their parents — and have been separated by the Trump administration's zero-tolerance policy — tend to be much younger, according to data obtained via FOIA by the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse at Syracuse University.

  • By the numbers: 69% of the children apprehended with their families in April were under 11 years old — and more than half of those were younger than 5, according to the data. In contrast, 87% of unaccompanied minors apprehended that same month were 12-17 years old.

What happens next:

  • George Tzamaras, a spokesman for the American Immigration Lawyers Association, told KHN that it's impossible to know how many separated migrant kids have started deportation proceedings.
  • Of the tens of thousands of unaccompanied minors who have ended up in DHS and HHS custody every year, 78% of those who showed up for their hearings received some form of deportation relief, according to a study by the Migration Policy Institute in 2015.
  • Yes, but: These children are not guaranteed legal counsel, although Congress has instructed HHS to ensure that child migrants have access to immigration attorneys "to the greatest extent practicable,” according to the American Immigration Council.

Why legal counsel matters: For immigrants with legal representation claiming asylum while in deportation proceedings, claims were denied 48% of the time 2016. That denial rate jumped to 90% for cases where immigrants had no legal counsel, according to data obtained through FOIA by TRAC.

What to watch: It's still unclear how HHS and DHS will carry out a court's order to reunite families within 30 days — or 2 weeks if the child is under 5 years old. It's possible that the ruling will allow some children to go through deportation proceedings alongside parents. But it's also possible that some parents have already been deported while their children remain behind in the U.S.

Go deeper: How a court ruling changes Trump's family separation.

Go deeper

Mike Allen, author of AM
2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

First look: Anita Dunn advises Dems on economy message for '22

Signs from a President Biden event yesterday in Kansas City, Mo. Photo: Chase Castor/Bloomberg via Getty Images

In a midterm preview, top Democratic strategist Anita Dunn advises the party's House and Senate members to frame Republicans "as being against the economic interests of working Americans."

What she's saying: "Explicitly framing Republicans as opposing policies to lower costs does better than simply framing Republicans as the 'party of no,'" Dunn, White House senior adviser until August, writes in the memo.

JPMorgan: "Full global recovery" in 2022

Photo: Erik McGregor/LightRocket via Getty Images

JPMorgan Chase Global Research says in a forecast to clients: "2022 will be the year of a full global recovery, an end of the global pandemic, and a return to normal conditions we had prior to the COVID-19 outbreak."

The big picture: The bullish report sees "a return of global mobility, and a release of pent-up demand from consumers (e.g. travel, services)."

Inside Trump's hunt for "disloyal" Republicans

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Donald Trump and his associates are systematically reshaping the Republican Party, working to install hand-picked loyalists across federal and state governments and destroy those he feels have been disloyal, sources close to the former president tell Axios.

Why it matters: If most or all of Trump’s candidates win, he will go into the 2024 election cycle with far more people willing to do his bidding who run the elections in key states.

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