Cubans, Venezuelans, and Nicaraguans Increase in Immigration Court Backlog
(21 Jan 2020) The fastest growing segments of the Immigration Court backlog are now Cubans, Venezuelans, and Nicaraguans. Between September 2018, when fiscal year 2018 drew to a close, and December 2019, Cubans in the backlog increased by 374 percent, Venezuela increased by 277 percent, and Nicaraguans increased by 190 percent. These rates of increase stand out when compared to the overall growth of 42 percent across all nationalities during this same period.

Despite the many actions by the Trump Administration designed to stem the growth in the Immigration Court backlog, the court's backlog continues to climb. In just the three-month period from October through December 2019 the backlog has grown by 65,929 new cases. The court ended December 2019 with 1,089,696 in its active backlog.

To put this recent 65,929-case growth in the backlog in perspective, assuming the pace of new filings continues at the existing rate and each judge met their administration-imposed quota of closing 700 cases a year, it would still require the court to hire almost 400 new judges - while stemming resignations and retirements among current judges - to stop the backlog from growing further. And a much larger round of judge hirings than this would be required in order to begin to reduce the backlog.

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