IMMIGRATION COURT BACKLOG STILL GROWING RAPIDLY
Instead of decreasing, the number of cases pending before Immigration Courts across the US continues to grow. A new all-time high was reached in June, with a record-breaking 247,922 cases waiting to be heard and decided upon. To make matters worse, the backlog is currently increasing by a rate of 2.1%.
The people most affected by this backlog are Armenians, who currently have the longest wait times of any other country. The Armenians wait, on average, 958 days, which is more than double the national average of a 459 day wait time. The other nations with incredibly long wait times are Indonesia (averaging a 774 day wait time), Lebanon (averaging a 709 day wait time, Albania (averaging a 674 day wait time), and Iran (averaging a 603 day wait time).
There are several reasons for this extremely long waiting time, the major one being that there is a disproportionate ration of immigrants to judges. Often, there are clusters of immigrants in specific cities or states, and there are just not enough immigration judges in that area to hear all the cases in a timely manner. This is especially true in areas where there are judge vacancies that have not been filled since 2006. In addition, there are constantly new requirements that are being imposed by the Court of Appeals and the Supreme Court, resulting in longer processing times because additional review is required.
Regardless of the reasons for these delays, the current backlog is simply unacceptable. The immigration court system clearly still has a very long way to go and improvements to the system need to be implemented immediately.
For more information and to read the full article, please visit: http://trac.syr.edu/immigration/reports/235/.