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January 23, 2019

Immigration-sparked shutdown adds to court backlog
By Riham Feshir

Thanks to a partial government shutdown that began over an immigration policy dispute, the Bloomington immigration court has had to cancel nearly 1,000 hearings, adding to its backlog of immigration cases. The longer immigration judges stay furloughed, the more the backlog grows. Hearings for those out of detention have been canceled for a later, undetermined date, while individuals held in federal custody continue to go to court. Minnesota has a backlog of 8,547 cases, a 6.6 percent increase from 2018 and a 40 percent jump from 2017, according to data from TRAC, a nonpartisan, nonprofit research center at Syracuse University that collects immigration data. The immigration court in Bloomington, which covers Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota, has had 959 hearings canceled as of Jan. 11, according to the research. Nationally, the estimated number of cancellations has reached 42,726.

Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse, Syracuse University
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