On a windy autumn morning at the courthouse at 26 Federal Plaza in lower Manhattan, Ariel Campos stood in line with dozens of other undocumented immigrants waiting for their first hearing on whether they can stay in the United States.

Campos, who came to the U.S. from El Salvador when he was 17 years old to escape the pressure he was under to join a violent gang, had been unable to find a lawyer. His hands trembled as he gripped documents he had brought along.

“I’m scared,” Campos said in Spanish. “I don’t know what’s going to happen.”