Federal Immigration Court Backlogs Despite Increase in Judges

A recently released report from the Justice Department found that government isn’t effectively handling the caseload in the federal immigration courts, despite a surge in the number of judges working on the cases.

From 2006-2010, new immigration cases rose from 308,652 to 325,326. During the same time, the number of immigration cases completed declined from 324,040 in 2006 to 287,207 in 2010. At the same time, the government hired 27 more immigration judges to a total of 238. The Department of Justice Inspector General found that 47,819 deportation cases had been pending for at least three years.

Our Asylum Program Attorney Martha Gonzalez says, “The majority of immigration judges in Dallas are now scheduling cases in 2014 because of the significant immigration court case backlog. Currently, many clients wait about two years before a decision is reached for their case.”

She goes on to say, “While their case is pending, they often rely on the charity and goodwill of family or friends. In some cases, clients have no family or friends to rely on in Dallas and a very basic need (secure housing) becomes a major issue. Our client services administrator works to minimize the risk of homelessness and helps clients obtain other basic necessities.”

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