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Roll Call
August 2, 2017

Congress Wants More Immigration Judges, and Fast
By Todd Ruger

“Over the last eight years, dozens of these immigration judge positions have gone unfilled while the backlog of immigration cases has grown to a staggering number of over 600,000,” Sen. Richard C. Shelby, R-Ala., chairman of the Senate Commerce-Justice-Science Appropriations Subcommittee, said at a markup Thursday. Such a backlog means some of those facing deportation cases aren’t scheduled to have their day in court for more than five years — or until President Donald Trump’s four-year term is over, according to the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse at Syracuse University. The Justice Department added 79 new immigration judges since November 2015, TRAC reported. The Justice Department said that includes 11 new judges in June that brought the total nationwide to 326. But policies in the Trump administration — such as ending the discretion of prosecutors to close cases — have helped to slow the pace of immigration judges closing cases and meant there hasn’t been a dent in the backlog, TRAC reporte

Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse, Syracuse University
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