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The Appeal
December 4, 2020

Biden’s Attorney General Needs to Think Like an Immigrant Rights Activist
By Chris Gelardi

When Sessions headed the Justice Department, he also set several precedents that limited judges’ ability to manage their chaotic dockets by removing delayed or stalled cases. In addition to other Trump administration policies, like the euphemistically named Migrant Protection Protocols (otherwise known as the “remain in Mexico” policy), these Sessions decisions have contributed to a skyrocketing immigration court backlog under Trump—from 516,000 cases nationwide in September 2016 to more than 1.2 million last year and this year, according to data from the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse at Syracuse University. Larger court backlogs mean longer case wait times, and, for many immigrants, more time spent in immigration detention or in unsafe camps on the Mexican side of the southern border.

Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse, Syracuse University
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