Immigration Court Backlog Could Grow by Years After Government Shutdown

Alejandra Juarez, left, passes through TSA screening on August 3, 2018, at the Orlando International Airport on her deportation flight to Mexico. Juarez has run out of options to keep her Davenport, Fla., family together after U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials denied the Polk County Marine veteran's wife stay of removal request. (Red Huber/Orlando Sentinel/TNS)

January 13, 2019

By Edvard Pettersson

LOS ANGELES –– The shutdown of the federal government over the president’s campaign promise to build a wall along the southern U.S. border is taking its toll on already backed-up immigration courts.

Hearings for non-detained immigrants -seekers are being taken off the calendar because of the lack of funding and will have to be rescheduled when the partial shutdown ends. The problem will be finding an opening for those cases on judges’ calendars, which are already filled for the next three years or more.

“Finding available time slots to reschedule hearings could result in years of further delay,” said Susan Long, co-director of Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse at Syracuse University, which gathers data on federal spending.

As of May 2018, there were 714,067 immigration cases pending. In some courts, immigrants have to wait more than four years before they get a chance to plead their case before a judge, according to TRAC data.

Judge Dana Leigh Marks, a spokeswoman for the National Association of Immigration Judges, said in a Jan. 9 interview on PBS that the impact of the shutdown has been “devastating” and that it could add three or four more years to the wait for immigrants that are on her docket.

Representatives of the Justice Department, which oversees immigration courts, did not respond request for comment.

––––

Kartikay Mehrotra contributed to this report.

———

©2019 Bloomberg News

Visit Bloomberg News at www.bloomberg.com

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

Immigration

Immigrants Must Have Bond Hearing After Being Held 6 Months, Appeals Court Rules
Immigration
Immigrants Must Have Bond Hearing After Being Held 6 Months, Appeals Court Rules

SAN FRANCISCO — A federal appeals court decided 2-1 Tuesday that detained immigrants facing deportation and possible persecution in their home countries must be given bond hearings after six months. The ruling by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, in which a Trump appointee cast... Read More

‘Dreamers’ Fear Loss of Legal Status as USCIS Offices Stay Closed
Immigration
‘Dreamers’ Fear Loss of Legal Status as USCIS Offices Stay Closed

WASHINGTON — For tens of thousands of immigrants protected under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, the coronavirus pandemic has created additional challenges to staying in the U.S. legally. Adrian Escarate, a 31-year-old “Dreamer” from Chile, needs to renew his DACA status before it expires... Read More

Detained Migrant Kids Should Be Released Without Delay, Judge Says
Law
Detained Migrant Kids Should Be Released Without Delay, Judge Says

A federal judge called on the U.S. government to speed the release of migrant children in detention centers to suitable adult guardians, saying there are serious questions about whether the facilities are safe amid the coronavirus pandemic. In an order issued late Saturday, the judge said... Read More

Appeals Court Says White House Can Withhold Funds for Immigrant-Friendly Policies
Political News
Appeals Court Says White House Can Withhold Funds for Immigrant-Friendly Policies

NEW YORK — The Trump administration can withhold millions in crime-fighting grants from states to force cooperation with immigration enforcement, the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday. The decision reversed a lower court decision on the money named for New York police officer Edward Byrne,... Read More

How a Nonprofit Lender Is Helping to Make Immigration More Affordable
Immigration
How a Nonprofit Lender Is Helping to Make Immigration More Affordable

MIAMI — For Vantanna Tarver — a 37-year-old Tampa resident — the cost of reuniting with her Jamaican boyfriend after he was taken into Immigration and Customs Enforcement custody was high. $4,000. That’s the bond amount Tarver had to come up with to get her boyfriend... Read More

Green Card Gridlock: When Will Congress Agree on a Solution?
Immigration
Green Card Gridlock: When Will Congress Agree on a Solution?

WASHINGTON — On Dec. 18, immigration reform stalwart Richard J. Durbin’s announcement on the Senate floor about a rare bipartisan breakthrough flew largely under the radar, overshadowed in the chaotic flurry of impeachment. Durbin, an Illinois Democrat, and Republican Sen. Mike Lee of Utah had dueled... Read More

Straight From The Well
scroll top