Saturday, June 9, 2018

TRAC Immigration: Immigration Court Backlog Jumps While Case Processing Slows

New from TRAC Immigration:  The Immigration Court's backlog keeps rising. As of the end of May 2018, the number of cases waiting decision reached an all-time high of 714,067. This compares with a court backlog of 542,411 cases at the end of January 2017 when President Trump assumed office. During his term the backlog has increased by almost a third (32%) with 171,656 more cases added. See Figure 1.   


It is noteworthy that the pace of court filings has not increased - indeed, filings are running slightly behind that of last year at this time. Instead, what appears to be driving the burgeoning backlog is the lengthening time it now takes to schedule hearings and complete proceedings in the face of the court's over-crowded dockets.

While the Justice Department, including Attorney General Sessions and court administrators, have implemented a number of new policies with the announced aim of speeding case dispositions, their efforts thus far have not had the desired result and appear to have actually lengthened completion times so that these have risen to new all-time highs.

Hat tip to Nolan Rappaport, an insightful analyst of immigration law and policy.


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