Concerns that immigration cases are overloading the federal courts may lead to the appointment of more judges.
A recent article in the National Review suggested the new tax reform bill could lead to the appointment of additional judges.
The article noted President Donald Trump appointed a mere eight of 169 federal appeals-court judges as of the end of 2017.Although judges have been hired in immigration courts, the backlog keeps on growing.
A report on TRAC Immigration noted that the backlog in the immigration courts continues to rise. As of the end of April 2017, the number of cases awaiting a decision hit an all-time high of 585,930.
On average people with cases wait 670 days, and often have to wait much longer before their cases will be heard.
Nine courts face particularly challenging caseloads and account for a quarter of the backlog. Some parties are waiting more than four additional years before a hearing is scheduled. In San Francisco, the immigration court has nearly 42,000 backlogged cases. Some people are waiting for more than five additional years, a staggering 1,908 days longer, for their July 21, 2022 hearing date.
Over the past 18 months, the court has been adding new judges. That’s in sharp contrast to 2013 and 2014 when very few judges were added. A total of 79 new immigration judges were sworn in since November of 2015. Funding for a further additional 10 judges also has just been approved by Congress.
In 2017, we noted how the pressures on the immigration courts may increase dramatically under the Trump administration as more people go into deportation proceedings.
Texas has one of the most significant immigration case backlogs in the country.
Immigration courts had a backlog of 89,000 cases in Texas in 2016. In Houston alone, cases struck in the immigration courts rose from 6,423 to 36,136 from 2010 to 2016, according to the report.
We noted there are a mere six immigration judges on the bench in Houston. The immigration court’s caseload is expected to double by 2019 unless additional judges are taken on.
The backlogs rose during the Obama administration when deportations were ramped up. The emphasis on deportation has continued under the Trump administration.
The pressures on immigration courts mean legal proceedings involving undocumented immigrants are very stressful and can fragment families. Our Texas family immigration lawyers can help with your case. Call us today at (512) 474-4445.