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Center for Immigration Studies
June 20, 2017

Deflating the Immigration Court Backlog Balloon
By Dan Cadman

My colleague Andrew Arthur has written a series of blog posts on a recent Government Accountability Office (GAO) report discussing the sobering state of affairs at the Department of Justice Executive Office for Immigration Review (DOJ EOIR), which is responsible for administering the immigration courts and their appellate tribunal, the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA). The posts describe the problems that confront EOIR and, therefore, the government generally, in attempting to handle the overwhelming number of removal cases (and requests by alien respondents for relief from removal that are heard as a corollary to those cases). After all, a massive backlog in the immigration systems constitutes the equivalent of a giant cork in the government's entire effort to regulate and control illegal immigration. Arthur's postings are timely, and not just because of the GAO report. Syracuse University's Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC) has issued its own findings that post-date the GAO audit, and reveal that the backlog continues to build. As of the end of May, it had reached nearly 600,000: a 100,000 case increase in the last 12 months alone.

Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse, Syracuse University
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