Immigration Case Backlog Larger Than Federal Government Will Admit

Immigration Case Backlog Larger Than Federal Government Will Admit

According to the Center for Immigration Studies, immigration advocates and the Government Accountability Office (GAO), the huge backlog of immigration court cases currently pending before a total of 334 immigration judges may be even larger. This is due in large part to the administrative closure of cases, a tool that was often used during the Obama administration to deal with deportation cases that did not align with the administration’s deportation priorities. Administrative closure occurs as a result of prosecutorial discretion, which under the Trump administration essentially has disappeared. Over the past ten years, the number of cases resolved by immigration judges’ decisions has sharply dropped, at the same time as administrative closure of pending cases has increased a full 21 percentage points. Administrative closure, however, does not resolve those cases; instead, either party can have the cases placed back on the court’s docket at any time. Some estimate that the number of administratively closed cases could be as high as 100,000. This means that in addition to the enormous backlog of deportation cases, there could be thousands of additional cases that can be added back to the pending caseload whenever federal immigration attorneys decide to do so. The Trump administration has made it clear in various policy memos to DHS that prosecutorial discretion is no longer an option except in the rarest of circumstances, and that the previous prioritization of certain groups of immigrants over others is now invalid. This could result in an increased, rather than decreased, backlog, as the numbers of administratively closed cases begins to fall, leaving more cases pending on the immigration court docket. Despite the significant backlog of deportation cases in immigration court, there are still thousands of immigrants who are facing court dates related to deportation every day. Landerholm Immigration, A.P.C., knows federal immigration law and has the experience to guide you and advocate on your behalf throughout any type of deportation proceeding, no matter what the allegations may be. We are familiar with the wide range of defenses that are available to individuals facing deportation, and how to build the strongest defense that is available to you, based on the evidence relevant to your case. Contact your California deportation defense lawyers today, and discover what we can do for you.
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