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Houston Public Media
December 20, 2018

Historic Backlog Plagues Immigration Courts In Texas, Nationwide
By Elizabeth Trovall

Texas saw a 30% increase in pending immigration cases over the last two years, reaching a backlog of more than 119,000 cases, according to a report by Syracuse University. That’s nearly 30,000 cases more than in September 2016. Since Trump took office, the number of cases pending nationwide grew nearly 50% to more than 809,000. Immigration attorney Julie Pasch said a number of policy changes may have contributed to the backlog. One such change is that judges no longer have the authority to administratively close certain cases. Another potential factor is dockets being reshuffled, according to Pasch. “If you look at the average time it takes for a case to be completed, even under real priority situation, it’s gone up from 120 days on average, which is four months, to 173 days,” said Susan Long, director of Syracuse University’s TRAC research center, which tracks immigration law enforcement data.

Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse, Syracuse University
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