Social Issues

Backlog in US immigration courts exceeds three million cases

Los Angeles, USA, Dec 18 (EFE).- The backlog of cases awaiting a decision in the immigration courts of the United States exceeded three million in November, leaving judges “swamped “, according to an analysis released Monday by Syracuse University.

The most recent data from immigration courts showed that the number of pending cases reached 3,075,248, of which 1,070,328 are asylum cases, as of Nov. 30, an all-time high, according to the university’s Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC) project, which has been keeping track since 2008.

“The number of waiting immigrants in the Court’s backlog is now larger than the population found in many states,” the report points out.

Both the administrations of former President Donald Trump and President Joe Biden have pushed for the appointment of more immigration judges and expedited proceedings, but they “have still not been able to keep up with the flow of incoming cases,” the report says.

In the past 12 months alone, the backlog has grown by more than 1 million.

At the end of the Obama administration, the backlog stood at 516,031 cases, about one-sixth of what it is now, and the 278 immigration judges at the time were completing an average of about 750 cases a year.

With the hiring of new judges, a total of 682 immigration judges are currently on the bench, and each judge now completes an average of about 975 cases per year, but their caseloads have jumped from 2,600 per judge to 4,500 per judge.

The report comes as President Joe Biden’s administration is negotiating with opposition senators to tighten the asylum system in exchange for their support for more than $60 billion in spending on Ukraine. EFE


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