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The Hill
April 29, 2015

The forgotten cornerstone in the immigration reform debate
By By Daniel M. Gerstein and Martina L. Melliand

The four most important issues that need to be addressed at EOIR include lengthy processing times, the large number of continuances, calls for greater use of prosecutorial discretion and the severe shortage of immigration judges. To put in perspective the time it take to process a case, consider the 2014 congressional testimony of Juan P. Osuna, the EOIR director who pointed out that the immigration courts had over 350,330 cases pending at the end of fiscal year 2013 an increase of 23,000 over the previous fiscal year. This trend is continuing. As of February 2015, an estimated 436,370 cases were pending in the immigration courts, according to the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse. On average, these cases required approximately 597 days to adjudicate, a number that fluctuates based on court location. For example, in Los Angeles the average wait time is 778 days compared to 246 days in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse, Syracuse University
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