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Washington Examiner
May 15, 2017

Immigration court backlog hits record high in April
By Kelly Cohen

The immigration court backlog now exceeds half a million, according to new data released by the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse at Syracuse University. The group said almost 586,000 cases are still waiting for a decision in the court system as of the end of April, an all-time high. People have been waiting an average of 670 days for a hearing, according to the data, which was obtained under the Freedom of Information Act and analyzed by the TRAC Immigration Project. More immigration judges have been added in recent years, and 79 new judges have been sworn in since November 2015, but the backlog has continued to grow. In August 2015, there were 457,000 cases in the backlog with an average wait time of 635 days. Now, some people will have their hearings scheduled as many as 1,900 days into the future, or more than five years. Was A Special Prosecutor For President Trump Inevitable? Watch Full Screen New York City is the most backlogged city, with more than 77,000 pending cases. A whopping 5,100 have yet to be scheduled, and the total projected wait time is nearly 900 days. Los Angeles and San Francisco's immigration courts are the second and fourth most backlogged cities, with roughly 54,000 and 42,000 pending cases, respectively. The city with the longest total projected wait time for a case hearing is Chicago: 1,820 days. That city's immigration court has 18,000 pending cases. Last month, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced his intention to hire of 50 new immigration judges in 2017 to help deal with the backlog. The Trump administration might also contribute to an even bigger backlog, as it has directed federal prosecutors to make immigration cases a higher priority, and bring more charges against illegal immigrants.

Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse, Syracuse University
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