Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Immigration Court Priority Family Case Backlog Surpasses 100,000

Data from the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC)  suggests that the number of judges is still insufficient to handle the growing backlog in the Immigration Court. The court's crushing workload reached a record-breaking 533,909 pending cases as the court closed out calendar year 2016, up 4.2 percent in just the last four months.

The problem is particularly acute for priority cases involving women with children according to the latest court data updated through the end of December 2016 and analyzed by the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC) at Syracuse University. Pending priority cases for these families jumped by more than 20 percent (21.9%) in just the last four months. The backlog of these family cases alone totaled 102,342 last month, surpassing 100,000 cases for the first time.

The number of pending priority cases involving unaccompanied children also has continued to climb, reaching 75,582 at the December 2016. Together with family cases, this priority workload now accounts for fully one third (33%) of the court's overall record backlog.

California, Texas, New York, and Florida are the states with the largest backlog of pending cases in the Immigration Courts.


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It is clear that more judges are needed. If people wait too long to regularize their immigration status, then they are forced to either return to their home countries or essentially break the law by being in limbo.

Just a thought: is immigration at its peak, rising or on the decline? If the numbers are going down, then the judges' caseload will naturally be alleviated.

Posted by: Reed James | Jan 18, 2017 8:59:54 AM

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