Immigration Judges Drowning in Cases

Immigration Judges Drowning in Cases

As the Trump administration continues to pour federal dollars into the enforcement of immigration laws, the immigration courts largely remain without additional resources. As one immigration judge from San Francisco indicates, the system is buckling under the weight of additional deportation cases. While the government has allocated more and more funds over the years toward border control and enforcement actions, a substantially smaller amount of funds has been funneled toward the immigration court system. The disproportionate nature of immigration-related funding has led to an immigration system that many see as completely broken. In the San Francisco district alone, well over 38,000 deportation cases are pending, and most immigration courts across the country are seeing similar caseloads. Nationwide, there are over 542,000 removal cases pending in immigration courts, which translates into an average wait time for each case of 673 days, or almost two years. In districts with higher immigrant populations, the wait can be up to three years in some cases. Additionally, low-priority cases tend to be pushed further and further into the future, typically by fast-track cases involving repeat offenders and individuals who have committed violent crimes. According to the Executive Office for Immigration Review, the federal government is taking steps to better equip immigration courts to deal with the enormous backlog. Twelve new judges reportedly joined the existing ranks of immigration judges in February of this year, and another 50 judges currently participating in the hiring process. At present, Congress has authorized funding for about 70 more immigration court judges. However, even if the government expands the current pool of immigration judges, many judges are eligible for retirement, either presently or in the next few years. Landerholm Immigration, A.P.C. is an Oakland immigration law firm who has dedicated their practice to protecting the interests of immigrants who are seeking to remain in the U.S. and facing potential deportation. We are prepared to build the strongest case possible in order to defend you against deportation. Contact us today to set up your legal consultation and discover what assistance we can offer to you and your family.
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