More Immigration Judges Leaving the Bench
(13 Jul 2020) The latest judge-by-judge data from the Immigration Courts indicate that more judges are resigning and retiring. Turnover is the highest since records began in FY 1997 over two decades ago. These results are based on detailed records obtained by the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC) at Syracuse University under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) from the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) which administers the Courts.

During FY 2019 a record number of 35 judges left the bench. This is up from the previous record set in FY 2017 when 20 judges left the bench, and 27 judges left in FY 2018.

With elevated hiring plus the record number of judges leaving the bench more cases are being heard by judges with quite limited experience as immigration judges.

Currently one of every three (32%) judges have only held their position since FY 2019. Half (48%) of the judges serving today were appointed in the last two and a half years. And nearly two-thirds (64%) were appointed since FY 2017.

While the Court is losing many of its most experienced judges, the backlog of cases continues to balloon. It is now almost three times the level when President Trump assumed office.

Update on Disappearing Immigration Court Records

Records continue to disappear in the latest data release for updated court records through the end of June 2020. The report provides the latest statement from EOIR Chief Management Officer Kate Sheehey about this matter.

To read the full report on Immigration Judges leaving the bench as well as the Sheehey statement, go to:

TRAC's free web query tools which track Immigration Court proceedings have also been updated through June 2020. For an index to the full list of TRAC's immigration tools and their latest update go to:

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