Friday, July 20, 2012
The number of cases awaiting resolution before the Immigration Courts keeps rising, along with the average time these pending cases have been waiting. At the end of June 2012 the backlog reached a new all-time high of 314,147. According to the very latest data obtained and analyzed by the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC), that total is up 5.6 percent this year, 20 percent higher than it was at the end of FY 2010. Average wait times jumped to 526 days, compared with 489 days at the end of fiscal year 2011 and 447 days at the end of fiscal year 2010.
Despite ICE Director John Morton's announced policy of focusing on deporting serious criminals, the proportion of the Immigration Court's pending caseload made up of "criminal" cases has not increased, but instead has been steadily falling. Merely 7.9 percent of pending Immigration Court cases involved individuals charged with criminal activities, actions adverse to national security, or aiding terrorism as the basis for ICE seeking removal action.
TRAC's latest report on the Immigration Courts can be viewed here.