Immigration courts to focus on detainees, not kids’ cases

WASHINGTON (AP) — The nation’s immigration courts are making a change to focus more on deportation hearings for immigrants jailed by the federal government.

Chief Immigration Judge MaryBeth Keller issued a memo Tuesday saying the top priority for immigration judges will be scheduling quick hearings for anyone who is detained. That is a change from current policy that also makes cases involving unaccompanied children and families arriving on the U.S.-Mexico border a priority.

The Obama administration had the court hear children’s cases more quickly to try to help those with strong cases and deter future border crossers.

The move comes days after President Donald Trump announced plans to ramp up immigration enforcement and expand detention.

Immigration lawyers say it’s unclear whether cases will move faster or the detained docket will just swell.

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