Immigration Court Backlog Tops 500,000 Pending Cases

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Immigration Court Backlog Tops 500,000 Pending Cases

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As of July 21, 2016, there are 500,051 cases pending in Immigration Courts across the United States. Since 2011, more than 200,000 cases have been added to the docket and the number will continue to rise until the Court hires more Judges to meet the need.

Congress has not allocated sufficient funding to Immigration Courts and as a result, many Immigration Courts, including the Denver Immigration Court, have cases pending five or more years. In Denver, the average number of days a case is on the docket is 933, the highest in the country. As of July, there are approximately 9,420 cases pending in Denver. That is up from about 7,400 cases in 2013.

According to the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR), 34 new judges have been hired since the beginning of 2016. There is a pending budget proposal that would allow more judges to be hired. Currently, there are 277 Immigration Judges hearing cases. An EOIR spokeswoman stated that if the budget proposal is passed, the agency would add as many as 122 more judges.

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