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Philadelphia Weekly
March 29, 2017

Philly’s immigration court faces uncertain stress under Trump
By Max Marin

In Philadelphia alone, 6,539 cases have been put to rest due to prosecutorial discretion since October 2013, according to data compiled by the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse. It remains unclear if ICE will now be directed to revive these dormant cases under an already bursting court system; the agency has not returned a request for comment. If it did, it would nearly double Philadelphia’s backlog of cases. As of the end of February, Morley and the city’s other four immigration judges faced 7,686 pending cases. That’s far less than comparable big cities’ immigration courts. Nationally, Pennsylvania has the 15th largest caseload, but Philadelphia barely ranked among the 30 busiest immigration courts in 2015. All told, the city bears just a fraction of the gargantuan backlog in immigration courts nationwide, which broke a new record with 555,001 pending cases in the same month. These numbers continue to rise under Trump, who has emphasized higher deportation enforcement priorities without a plan to alleviate the strain that such heightened enforcement is placing on the anemic judge corps.

Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse, Syracuse University
Copyright 2017
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