US Immigration Courts Backlog Now Exceeds One Million Cases
The immigration courts backlog now exceeds well over one million cases. This is double the amount of 516,031 cases that were active at the end of Fiscal Year 2016. By the end of August 2019, another 322,525 cases were pending that have not been added to the active caseload. If these pending cases are added to the one million active cases, then the backlog would exceed 1.3 million, according to the immigration court data tracking system by Syracuse University’s Transactional Records Access Clearing house. California, Texas, New York, and Florida have the largest backlogs making for slightly half of the active cases in the entire US.
Efforts Made to Fix the Backlog
In hope of decreasing the massive backlog in the immigration courts, the Trump administration has hired more immigration judges; however, the number of cases continues to grow. In fact, during the government shutdown more than 42,000 hearings were canceled. Many detainees that are released are having to wait for their court hearings in years rather than months. This is causing delays in the removal of unlawful residents instead of accelerating deportations.
The large majority of individuals detected and detained by ICE are not being deported immediately, they are released by bond and wait years for a final removal decision. Individuals that do not have a previous deportation order or a violent criminal history, are mostly granted bond. This allows unlawful residents to remain in the U.S. with their families. The process is quite different for those who don’t have family ties to the US, have a formal deportation order or violent criminal background.
In other attempts to speed up the immigration courts, the Trump administration has enacted the Migrant Protected Protocol program. Tent courts have even been opened along the Texas border to hear cases of migrants who have then returned to the opposite side of the border. These migrants have to wait outside the US, in Mexico, to have their cases processed. The ideology behind this is that falsely claimed asylum cases are causing the vast majority of the backlog in the courts.
Reasons that may have contributed to the case backlog over the last three years?
The primary focus is not directed at unlawful residents who have a prior immigration removal order or a criminal history, as President Trump promised throughout his campaign. All unlawful residents in general, even those without a criminal history and who have paid their taxes, are also falling into the clogged immigration court system. This administration is targeting all unlawful residents regardless of their history with immigration or law enforcement thus causing the courts to be overloaded with cases to hear.
Contact an expert immigration attorney in Washington DC
If you, a family member, or a friend are or have been detained or have an upcoming court hearing with the immigration court please contact Motion Law today to schedule a FREE Consultation with one of our expert immigration attorneys who will be happy to tell you about the types of reliefs you may be eligible for. We will do our utmost to stop your deportation and help you remain in the US.
Please contact Motion Law Immigration today at: (202) 918-1799