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Law 360
September 18, 2019

Immigration Court Backlog Tops 1M As Cases Keep Piling Up
By Haeily Konnath

The immigration court backlog surpassed 1 million cases in August, according to a report released Wednesday by Syracuse University's Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse, a nonpartisan data research organization. Immigration courts last month had 1,007,155 cases waiting to be addressed, TRAC said in the report. The center added that the backlog would top 1.3 million if an additional 322,535 cases presently listed as pending were added to the active caseload rolls. Notably, new cases stemming from President Donald Trump’s “Remain in Mexico” policy make up less than 10% of the new cases, per the report, and those cases make up just 3.3% of the court’s active backlog. Under Remain in Mexico, officially known as the “Migrant Protection Protocols,” asylum-seekers trying to enter the U.S. at the southwest border have been sent back to Mexico while they await decisions on their immigration cases. The backlog has swelled since 2010, when it was just 262,000 cases, according to a March report compiled by Arnold & Porter for the American Bar Association's Commission on Immigration. At the end of fiscal year 2018, the courts had a backlog of 768,257 cases, per that report.

Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse, Syracuse University
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