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Sessions Urges Immigration Courts to Increase Efficiency

Sessions Urges Immigration Courts to Increase Efficiency

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions has called upon the nation’s immigration courts to decide immigration cases in a quicker and more efficient manner, as the increasing backlog of cases is interfering with the administration’s efforts to crack down on immigration enforcement laws. In an effort to reduce the backlog of 600,000 pending cases, the Trump administration has hired 50 new immigration judges. The intent of the administration is to hire an additional 60 judges over the next six months, with the goal of cutting the backlog in half by the year 2020. The impact of this backlog is clear; while the government arrested many more undocumented immigrants in the year 2017 as compared to 2016, it still deported six percent fewer immigrants. In fact, the deportation rate for 2017 was higher than the rate in any year during the Obama administration. Additionally, these numbers are lower because fewer immigrants are trying to cross the border illegally than in years past, and the deportations of immigrants seeking asylum or who have other valid reasons for staying in the country have slowed awaiting court hearings before an immigration judge. Nonetheless, Sessions claims that the immigration court system processed 2,800 more cases in 2017 than it expected. For the period from February to November, 2017, DHS stated that removal orders were up 30% in that same time period in the prior year, and the percentage of final decisions issued by immigration courts was up 17% over that time period. Sessions’ continued directives to urge immigration judges to work more and more quickly likely will have the effect of rushing through cases with immensely high stakes for the immigrants involved. One immigration judge likens the process to trying death penalty cases in traffic court. Sessions’ attitude toward the immigration court system continues to be one of derision, which is not helpful for immigrants whose court hearings can be the difference between remaining in their homes with their families and being deported to a remote, dangerous country where they no longer have any relatives or resources. Landerholm Immigration, A.P.C., has the experience that you need when you are facing deportation charges. We know how to gather the facts that are relevant to your case, assess your options, and determine whether you have any legal defenses that may enable you to avoid deportation and remain in the U.S. Contact the Oakland immigration attorneys at our office today and learn how we potentially can help you and your family through this difficult situation.

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