If you have a case pending before an immigration court, you may as well settle in for a long, arduous wait.
The latest information from Syracuse University’s Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC) indicates that the caseload in the nation’s immigration courts has gotten worse than ever — and there are signs that it’s getting worse, not better.
Yes, they’re clearing cases as fast as they can
At the time of the TRAC report, 1,486,495 cases were pending in immigration court. Only a paltry 21,000 or so cases had been cleared as of October of 2021 — while another 50,000 cases were added in that same timeframe. In essence, that means the courts are taking two steps back for every step they take forward.
How disturbing is this information? Consider this: Back in 2017, only 600,000 cases were backing up the system. That had almost doubled just two years later.
Right now, U.S. Border Patrol agents indicate that there’s been a drop in undocumented immigrants being stopped along the border, which they attribute to a decline in the number of Haitians trying to reach the United States via Mexico. At best, analysts say that the drop is just a temporary lull in the immigration storm.
TRAC and other analysts say that the backlog is partially related to staff shortages, courtroom delays due to the unprecedented events of the last couple of years, retiring judges, and other factors that cannot be controlled. Still, there’s no question about it: The immigration system in this country is genuinely having trouble functioning.
This kind of information continues to make it clear that any immigrant who wants to make the United States their home should seek experienced legal guidance with their concerns.