Immigration courts are speeding up hearings for the tens of thousands of Central American children caught on the U.S. border after criticism that the backlogged system is letting immigrants stay in the country for years while waiting for their cases to be heard.
The Executive Office for Immigration Review says the immigration courts are now giving each child an initial court hearing within three weeks. Traditionally, many immigrants have had to wait months or years for a hearing.
Immigration lawyers are worried the courts are now moving so quickly that children might not have enough time to make their case that they should be allowed to remain in the country legally.
The shift began in Los Angeles this week and is also being implemented in other immigration courts.
Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.