Tags: Immigration | immigration | border | minors | courts | backlog | judges

US Immigration Courts Clogged, Underfunded, Understaffed

Tuesday, 12 Aug 2014 07:29 AM

By Elliot Jager

Migrants legally living in the Unite States while awaiting court hearings on permanent residency will now have to wait even longer, The Wall Street Journal reported.

Immigration judges are going to first handle some of the 220,000 illegals apprehended at the Mexico border since October 2013 in the hope of deterring more from coming. The consequence is that everyone else on the docket will have their day in court postponed — perhaps for years, according to the newspaper.

In Houston, all files have been set aside so that hearings can focus on pressing juvenile or detention cases.

While funding for the U.S. Border Patrol increased by 30 percent, the underfunded and understaffed immigration court budget grew by just 8 percent. The system is backlogged by 375,000 cases with an average wait time of 520 days, the Journal said, citing the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse, a Syracuse University project.

Even if Congress had passed legislation to provide $45 million to hire more immigration judges — which it didn't because of a dispute over immigration policy with the Obama administration — it would still take time to hire and process new judges. In the meantime, 33 percent of existing judges are entitled to retire.

The Executive Office for Immigration Review, the agency overseeing the country's 59 immigration courts, is trying to add 32 judges and to utilize teleconference hearings to expedite deportations, according to the Journal.

William Zimmer, a retired immigration judge who left a docket of 2,400 cases pending, told the Journal, "Due process is never efficient. If you want to do everything efficiently, just get rid of the courts altogether."

Immigration advocates say the goal of hearings should be to guarantee that worthy immigrants are authorized to stay. Emphasis should be placed on "improving our processing of asylum cases in a more efficient and smarter way," Muzaffar Chishti of the Migration Policy Institute told the Journal.

Applicants whose cases have been pushed to the back of the line worry they will lose their witnesses and pro bono lawyers. "Justice delayed is justice denied," said Samantha Del Bosque, an immigration lawyer.

Related Stories:

© 2015 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
Zip Code:
Privacy: We never share your email.
Hot Topics
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
Around the Web
Top Stories
You May Also Like

Toddler Wounds Both Parents with 1 Shot from Handgun

Sunday, 01 Feb 2015 09:09 AM

Authorities say a 3-year-old boy got ahold of a handgun from his mother's purse and fired just one shot that wounded bot . . .

Obama Budget Proposes $478 Billion Public Works Programs

Sunday, 01 Feb 2015 08:34 AM

President Barack Obama's budget will propose an ambitious six-year, $478 billion public works program of highway, bridge . . .

Arizona's Sheriff Joe Picks Patriots; Inmates to Get Popcorn

Saturday, 31 Jan 2015 23:21 PM

The Arizona lawman who bills himself as America's toughest sheriff predicts the New England Patriots will win the Supe . . .

Most Commented

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved