Putting TRAC to Work
  Legal and Scholarly
New York Law Journal
February 23, 2017

Stepped-Up Immigration Enforcement May Strain Court System, Lawyers
By Andrew Denney

According to the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse at Syracuse University, the backlog of cases in the country's immigration courts had grown to a historic high of 542,411 by the end of January, up from 516,031 pending on Sept. 30, 2016, which are assigned to a corps of about 300 judges. Courts in California and Texas topped the list of states with the largest backlogs, with 97,860 and 95,193 cases, respectively. New York came in third with 74,841 cases. The backlog creates long delays in cases: By the end of January, the average wait time for cases nationwide was 673 days. Michael Wildes, managing partner at the Manhattan-based Wildes & Weinberg, said that immigration attorneys are seeing hearings scheduled as far out as 2020. Issues facing the immigration courts are not unknown throughout the justice system. Earlier this year, Judge Richard Posner of the U.S Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit issued a scathing dissent in a deportation case called Chavarria-Reyes v. Lynch, No. 15-3730, stating that, due to "severe underfunding" by Congress, immigration court is the "least competent federal agency."

Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse, Syracuse University
Copyright 2017
TRAC TRAC at Work TRAC TRAC at Work News Organizations News Organizations