Wednesday, June 7, 2017
I'm sure most of our readers are aware that, since March 2017, immigration judges have been temporarily reassigned to new posts at border detention facilities. The goal of the administration is to speed up the deportation of recent border crossers.
I can tell you that, having recently observed the detained docket at the Otay Mesa detention center, the facility is currently using all of it's five courtrooms. One year ago they were not.
WYNC has interesting coverage of this issue with a New York bent. They set out to find out where exactly New York immigration judges were heading. They found that "[a]t least eight of New York City’s 29 immigration judges had been sent to Texas and Louisiana since March to conduct hearings in person or by video. Six judges were out for different parts of the month of May, alone."
What's the impact for those on the docket in NY? In all likelihood - delays.
What's the impact for border courts? That's unclear too. One knowledgeable person who I spoke with in San Diego indicated that the influx of judges wasn't making a dent in the overall caseload. It would be a great area for empirical research.