Putting TRAC to Work
  News Organizations
Mother Jones
March 31, 2017

Our Immigration Courts Aren't Ready to Handle Millions of Deportations
By Bryan Schatz

In February, Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly released two memos outlining how President Donald Trump's executive orders on immigration would be enforced, citing immigration courts' "historic backlog" as a justification for expedited removal—in other words, deporting people without giving them a day in court. To speed the deportation process up, the Department of Justice intends to reshuffle immigration judges to border towns and 12 cities. Kelly is correct that immigration courts are swamped. There are currently more than 542,000 cases pending before 301 immigration judges, according to records obtained by the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse at Syracuse University. Only about 280 of those judges hear cases, and they may have as many as 1,500 cases on their dockets at any given time. They often hear 30 or more cases a day, and complete nearly 800 cases per year. In comparison, federal district judges generally complete 500 cases a year. For more than a decade, advocates have been calling for more immigration judges, without much luck.

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