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The Root
July 17, 2014

How Immigration Cases Are Prioritized: First Kids, Then Criminals, Then Everyone Else
By Richard Prince

Jose Antonio Vargas might have received a "Notice to Appear" before an immigration judge after his detention in McAllen, Texas, on Tuesday, but it might be years before he goes to court if ever, an immigration lawyer told Journal-isms on Wednesday. "The first priority is the kids," said Dan Kowalski of Austin, editor of Bender's Immigration Bulletin and online editor of the LexisNexis Legal Newsroom, as he listed the categories of cases that take precedence. "Then those detained with criminal records," then the noncriminals. It could be years from now" that Vargas' case reaches a judge. The Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse at Syracuse University, known as TRAC, collects such immigration court data. It reported last week, "As of the end of June 2014, the number of cases awaiting resolution before the Immigration Courts has climbed to an all time high of 375,503 an increase of more than 50,000 since the start of FY 2013 . . . California has the largest backlog (77,400 cases), followed by Texas (62,143) and then New York (55,010). . . ."

Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse, Syracuse University
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