Friday, May 27, 2016

US immigration courts have backlog of 456,644 cases. Earliest date available is Nov. 29, 2019-Houston Press

Earliest US immigration court date is Nov. 29, 2019, exceptions made for unaccompanied minors. Immigration courts have backlog of 456,644 cases as of March 2016. Houston court has backlog of over 35,000 cases as of Dec. 2015. New York and LA backlogs are higher than Houston's.
March 22, 2016, "Houston’s Immigration Court Backlog Isn’t Helped by a Judge That Barely Works,", Steve Jansen 

"During the summer of 2014, when a record number of Central American nationals sought entry into the United States, the nation’s underfunded, understaffed and under-everything immigration court system nearly collapsed.

As a result, President Barack Obama directed the Executive Office for Immigration Review, which handles immigration court and asylum proceedings, to prioritize the adjudication of cases for unaccompanied minors and families in detention. Most other immigration matters, such as minor criminal offenses and permanent resident cases, have been reset to November 29, 2019

“Three years out is too long,” says Samantha Del Bosque, staff attorney at the Houston-based Tahirih Justice Center, which provides pro bono services to immigrant women and children. 

Evidence can go stale and experts who are academics tend to move around. For us, it creates a lot of hardships. It’s quite a mess.”

“I’ve had a client whose asylum case has been reset seven times,” says Raed Gonzalez of the Houston immigration law firm Gonzalez Olivieri. According to Syracuse University’s Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse, the nationwide immigration case pileup stands at 456,644. And counting....  

According to December 31, 2015, figures provided to the Press by the immigration review office, Houston’s immigration judges are drowning under a glut of 35,340 pending cases. TRAC data shows that Houston’s bottleneck is the third-highest in the country, two spots behind New York City and Los Angeles.

“Houston is the largest city closest to the Mexico border,” says Alexandre Afanassiev of the local immigration firm Quan Law Group. There are only six judges, and that’s not enough.Houston, like many immigration courts across the country, has been hampered by attrition and retiring judges, and critics say that DOJ is dragging its feet with hiring replacements."...


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