The Obama administration’s response to the surge of immigrant children coming to the United States to escape violence in Central America has been a program of “rocket dockets”—pushing these cases through immigration courts quickly, sometimes deporting children in a matter of months to deter would-be immigrants.
But in New York City immigration courts, the city is taking the opportunity to hook these children up with needed city services, The New York Times reported.
On Tuesday city officials announced a program to help children enrolled in school and health care programs when they show up for immigration hearings.
“Connecting these vulnerable children to educational, health and social services is vital to helping our families and communities gain stability,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio in a statement. This is “a more humanitarian approach.”
According to the Office of Refugee Resettlement, there are about 1,350 unaccompanied minors in New York City. “Getting kids in contact with the schools is frankly the second most urgent step after giving them a lawyer,” Camille Mackler, director of legal initiatives at the New York Immigration Coalition, told the Times. “We need to make sure kids have access to services because they won’t know what they’re entitled to.”
In other news…
Bad Spot for a Swim: An American was arrested by South Korean marine sentries after trying to swim from there to North Korea on Tuesday. Three Americans are in jail or awaiting trial in North Korea. On Sunday a North Korean court sentenced Mathew Miller to six years’ hard labor for being in the country illegally. (via USA Today)
Congress OKs Islamic State Fight: Obama will likely get congressional authorization for his plan to fight the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq, though many lawmakers believe the plan doesn’t go far enough. (via The Associated Press)
Guilty Verdicts for L.A. Sheriff’s Department: James Sexton, a former Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputy, is the seventh official in the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department to be found guilty of interfering with a federal investigation of prison abuse and misconduct. He could spend up to 15 years in prison. (via Reuters)
Peterson Won’t Play: The NFL switched positions on whether Adrian Peterson, the Minnesota Vikings running back who is accused of hitting his four-year-old son with a switch, will be allowed to play Sunday. On Wednesday the league announced that Peterson has been deactivated and must keep away from team activities while his legal case is being resolved. (via The Huffington Post)
Head of the Class: The MacArthur Foundation announced its class of 2014 grant recipients. The list includes cartoonist Alison Bechdel, labor organizer Ai-jen Poo, and Jennifer Eberhardt, a Stanford social psychologist racial coding, stereotypes of race and crime. There are 21 recipients, and the award, known as the “genius grant,” comes with a stipend of $625,000. (via MacArthur Foundation)
A Really Big Squid: In December a fisher in New Zealand caught a massive squid—11 feet long and more than 770 pounds. Yesterday, scientists dissected it and made a live video. (via Vox)
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The Daily Fix: NYC Plans for Immigrant Children, Adrian Peterson Won't Play Sunday, and Giant Squid Dissected
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