The backlog for non-detained, undocumented migrants to see an immigration judge is at least 600 days, Dan Cadman, a senior fellow at the Center for Immigration Studies and a retired INS official, said on Newsmax TV
's "America's Forum" on Monday.
That figure is a month old. With thousands of unaccompanied minors and other Central Americans pouring into the United States in record numbers, the wait is growing daily, he said.
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"It's almost two years just before they show up in front of an immigration judge, and that's for their initial appearance," Cadman said. "By the time you get into the substantive hearing, you're talking years here. You're not talking about people going home in a month, two months, three months. You're not talking about people going home in a year's time.
"So, with each passing day and each passing month, there's a reinforcing of the message to people still waiting and deciding whether to make the trek: give it a go."
The thousands of people who entered the country illegally are not being detained because Homeland Security facilities cannot hold that many people. Instead, adults are given a "notice to appear," at a deportation hearing and then released. Up to 90 percent never show up for the hearing, according to Watchdog.org.
Cadman speculated that the Obama administration's initial plan to quietly relocate the undocumented people in the interior of the country with "no muss, no fuss, no bother . . . exploded in their faces," though he still thinks the plan is to "relocate and resettle."
He suggests that Congress refuse to approve the nearly $4 billion the president has requested to deal with the crisis because the bill contains no assurances that the money would be used to secure the border. Rather, he said, Congress should draft its own bill. The president's version contains large chunks calling for "bricks and mortar."
"What does that tell you about their long-term game plan? Anyone familiar with government contracting knows that when you're talking about real estate and property, you are talking about an extended, a very prolonged negotiation, between the government and the private sector to obtain contracts to put up those kinds of facilities. That's not the kind of things that's done in a couple of months."
There is no legal reason, according to Cadman, that the majority of the people who have arrived in the United States cannot be immediately returned to their countries of origin.
"Statistics show us that 47 percent of the people coming in are adult males," he said. "Now, if you add on top of that adult females and accompanied children, and then on top of that people who are from Mexico and not from Central America, all of them could be removed immediately. Why isn't that being done? That's where the money ought to be targeted."
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