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Spectrum 1 News
January 23, 2019

How the Shutdown is Affecting the Courts
By Taylor Popielarz

On day 32 of the partial government shutdown, a clearer picture is forming of just how much the federal and immigration court systems are being affected. The shutdown debate over the border wall is directly affecting the immigration courts tasked with deciding who can legally come into America. Georgetown Law Professor David Super said it’s ironic because immigrants who play by the rules and apply for asylum at the border are being hit hardest by having their cases canceled and rescheduled to the end of the list. “For every day this goes on, and someone’s case is canceled, that may mean two, three, four years before they get heard,” Super said. “Years?” asked Spectrum Washington reporter Taylor Popielarz. “Years,” Super repeated. The backlog of immigration cases was in the hundreds of thousands before this shutdown, and cases are normally scheduled years out. Researchers at the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC) at Syracuse University said by the end of this week, more than 80,000 cases will have been missed during the shutdown — and will now be at the end of the line for scheduling.

Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse, Syracuse University
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