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LA Times
May 16, 2015

Immigration: 445,000 awaiting a court date, which might not come for 4 years
By Molly Hennessy-Fiske

Driven by last summer’s surge of illegal immigration from Central America, the already large backlog in federal immigration courts has reached an all-time high, with more than 445,000 pending cases, according to a new report. As of April, the backlog hit 445,706 cases, a nearly 30% increase since Oct. 1, 2013, the start of the last fiscal year, according to the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse at Syracuse University. Immigration courts have been overwhelmed since the influx last fiscal year of more than 68,500 unaccompanied children and about as many family units crossing the southern border, most from Central America. During that surge, unaccompanied children’s cases were given priority in the courts and expedited — referred to as “rocket dockets” — in Los Angeles and other cities. Even so, they make up a small proportion of the backlog: 70,035 cases, about 16% of the total as of April. But the juvenile case backlog is still 68% larger than it was last June, when there was a backlog of 41,641 juvenile cases. While most backlogged cases involved Mexican immigrants, their backlog has increased only about 4% since the start of last fiscal year, while the backlog has skyrocketed for Central Americans — up 63% for Guatemalans, 92% for Salvadorans and 143% for Hondurans. lRelated Immigration: Centers holding kids to be reviewed, but nothing changes for now Nation Immigration: Centers holding kids to be reviewed, but nothing changes for now See all related 8 The report, based on federal data, found that California, Texas, and New York led the nation with the largest immigration backlogs, followed by Florida and New Jersey.

Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse, Syracuse University
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