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Pacific Standard
September 12, 2018

Immigration Court Judges Are Skeptical of Jeff Sessions' Backlog-Busting Plan
By Massoud Hayoun

Sessions told an incoming group of 44 new immigration judges on Monday that the administration plans to increase the total number of immigration judges by 50 percent from what it had been at the start of Donald Trump's presidency. Sources estimate that number was around 300; a current government count places that number at around 350. The expectation is that the administration intends to bring on about 100 more judges to contend with a growing backlog of cases nationwide. To be sure, the backlog issue has become a real problem. From Trump's inauguration to the end of July, there was a 38 percent increase in unheard immigration court cases nationwide, according to a count by Syracuse University non-profit data research center, Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse. California had the largest immigration court backlog of 140,676 cases awaiting a decision, and Maryland saw a staggering 96 percent increase in its backlog, which at the end of July sat at more than 33,000 cases.

Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse, Syracuse University
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