Recently, we’ve had many clients inquire as to why cases are taking much longer to be processed and heard in immigration court.
Although the immigration court system has been consistently clogged by delays, with the ratio of cases to judges set at 1000 to 1, the system is taking much longer than normal in recent months due to the influx of unaccompanied lions seeking asylum from this past summer.
Judge Dana Leigh Marks, president of the National Association of Immigration Judges, says it’s no longer a matter of first case in/first case heard: “Now it’s the last cases that come in, the recent border crossers, those cases are moved as it is to the front of the line….And that displaces cases that have been waiting on the dockets for months or years depending on the court location.” It’s important to note that Judge Marks does not speak for the Justice Department.
Further, NPR reports, “According to federal records collected by Syracuse University, there are roughly 60,000 unaccompanied minors in the courts. Less than 30% have lawyers. Without a lawyer, a minor has a very slim chance of staying in this country.”
With such a backlog, it is unclear when the immigration court system will pick up a quicker pace. However, it is clear that moving through the court system without a lawyer is ill-advised.
Read the full NPR article on their website.
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Disclaimer: Nothing in relation to the enclosed information should be construed and or considered as legal advice for any individual, entity, case, or situation. The following information is prepared for advertisement use only. The information is intended ONLY to be general and should not be relied upon for any specific situation. For legal advice on your specific situation, we encourage you to consult an attorney experienced in the area of Immigration Law.