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What is the Surge Docket in Immigration Court?

What is the Surge Docket in Immigration Court?

In response to the high rates of migrants from Mexico and Central America entering the United States in recent years, the U.S. Department of Justice has ordered immigration courts nationwide to expedite the removal cases of more recent immigrants through a so-called surge docket (we sometimes call it the “rocket docket”). The cases subject to the surge docket involve either unaccompanied minors, or children who arrived in the U.S. without a parent or other adult, or families, which consist of at least one adult and one child. Implementing the surge docket, however, has adversely affected those immigrants whose cases are placed on this docket. The expeditious manner in which the immigration court handles these cases easily can violate individual due process rights and prevent individuals from effectively raising defenses that would qualify them for relief from removal. It also is much more difficult for an immigrant to obtain a qualified immigration attorney within this highly expedited timeframe, which obviously is prejudicial to their rights. Furthermore, the surge docket only has led to lengthier delays in the deportation cases of the thousands of the other immigrants currently residing in the U.S. A recent L.A. Times article named California as one of the three states with the largest immigration case backlog in the nation. As of April, 2016, the immigration case backlog has increased 30% since October 1, 2013, to an all-time high of 445,706. Furthermore, although surge docket cases make up only about 16% of the total immigration caseload, the backlog of these cases has increased by 68% since June, 2015. Landerholm Immigration, A.P.C. is composed of skilled California immigration attorneys whose exclusive aim is to help you or your loved ones escape ICE detention and avoid deportation from the United States. We know how stressful and emotional removal proceedings can be for you and your family, particularly in terms of the uncertainty that it is likely to cause for many months and even years. As skilled deportation defense attorneys, we know what it takes to successfully defend against deportation and how to develop a winning strategy in your defense case. Call us today and learn how we can advocate on your behalf and work toward avoiding deportation in your situation.

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