Friday, September 5, 2014

Immigration Court Backlog Nears 400,000

 The number of cases awaiting resolution in the immigration courts had grown to 396,552 by the end of July 2014. This backlog increased by nearly 75,000 cases, or 22 percent, since the start of fiscal year 2013, according to very timely government enforcement data obtained by the Transactional Access Records Clearinghouse (TRAC) at Syracuse University.

The California immigration courts continued to have the greatest backlog with 81,022 cases. Second was Texas, where the backlog of 69,625 cases rose 74 percent since the start of FY 2013. The third largest backlog was in New York, where 57,204 cases were awaiting resolution. The longest waiting times were found at the Imperial, California hearing location, where a backlog of 1,208 cases were waiting an average of 857 days to be resolved as of July 31. The next highest wait times were found at the Omaha, Nebraska hearing location, where 4,992 cases have been waiting an average of 840 days. The average wait time for the 77 juvenile cases at Omaha was only 10 days, however.

The 10,984 cases at the Phoenix, Arizona hearing location had the third longest waiting time, an average of 805 days as of July 31. The 200 juvenile cases there had an average waiting time of only 66 days.

Note that not all court locations have separately reported waiting times for juvenile cases. TRAC has requested more comprehensive court data on scheduling and waiting times for juvenile cases, and will report these details once the additional information is received.


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