US program aims to get immigrants into court to track cases
LOS ANGELES - With tens of thousands of Central American immigrants arriving on the U.S.-Mexico border in the last two years, federal authorities are launching a program to encourage more of them to show up for immigration court.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement has hired a contractor to help some immigrant families find transportation, housing and low-cost lawyers, hoping that getting them on stable footing will make them more likely to attend their hearings.
Then, federal authorities can keep track of immigrants' asylum cases to ensure those who lose return home. Advocates want immigrants to go to court because they believe many have a strong shot of winning the right to stay in the country.
Starting Thursday, as many as 800 families who pass an initial asylum screening can join the program in Los Angeles, New York, Washington, Chicago and Miami.
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