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Houston Chronicle
August 26, 2015

Immigration judge's absences questioned
By Lomi Kriel and Matt Dempsey

As Houston's chronically overburdened immigration court struggled with one of the country's largest and growing backlogs, one of its judges decided only a fraction of the cases as her colleagues, going a total of 24 months in the last five years without issuing a single ruling, federal records show. Between January 2010 and May 2015, Judge Mimi Yam went as long as seven consecutive months without issuing any decision, according to initial case completion data obtained through a records request from the Executive Office for Immigration Review, an arm of the Department of Justice overseeing the courts. A surge of Central American children flooding across the Texas border last summer has further bogged down the system. The Obama administration prioritized their cases and those of anyone who arrived last year to reinforce a message abroad that immigrants here illegally would not be able to stay. But doing so has postponed all cases stemming from before 2014 to at least 2019. In Houston, the average delay is 673 days, according to an analysis of federal data by Syracuse University's Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse.

Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse, Syracuse University
Copyright 2015
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