Health and Human Services Department: Few undocumented children deported

PHOENIX - New numbers by the Health and Human Services Department show the majority of minors who came here illegally and alone are being released to sponsors.

Buses with tens of thousands of undocumented children landed in different cities across the country earlier this year.

RELATED: Hundreds of undocumented immigrants dropped off in Phoenix, Tucson

According to the government release, 280 children have been deported while more than 37,000 were released to sponsors including 183 in Maricopa County.

Immigration attorney Ruben Reyes is helping represent some of those children He called the situation "a crisis."

Reyes believes more kids are being deported than the report shows.

"I would still question it. It seems very very low if we're talking about a national number," he comments.

He's seeing lightning fast trial dates and says cases “are definitely being fast-tracked,” especially those that came over with their mothers.

This is why the low deportation number doesn’t add up for him.

"I would say the numbers are much much much higher. Probably in the thousands,” Reyes adds.

Ruben worries that a lot of the kids don't really understand what's happening.

"People who don’t understand their rights, their processes might just give away those rights."

He's hoping more attorneys will take on pro bono work to help the children.

Some critics say the low deportation numbers will encourage other children to enter the U.S. illegally.

But Reyes says it goes much deeper than that.

He adds, "If you're desperate and you think this is the best place to go. You'll make the trek."

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