5 things to know about immigration courts

By From page A1 | July 13, 2014

An overlooked element in the immigration debate is the nation’s Immigration Court system, where many of the newly arrived migrants will have their cases resolved. Here are key facts about the court system and its struggles:


The number of immigrants with cases before the immigration courts has jumped 7 percent since October to more than 375,000, the agency’s highest caseload to date. The number of cases before the immigration courts rose by 23,000 during the previous fiscal year.


The average time a pending case has been before the immigration courts is now 587 days, which is about 19 months, according to the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse at Syracuse University. Immigration lawyers say getting a hearing can take much longer than that. For example, in Los Angeles, the average time a case has been before the immigration court is more than two years, data show.


The country has 59 immigration courts overseen by the U.S. Department of Justice. Some are inside detention centers, while others deal with immigrants who are not detained. The states with the biggest immigration caseloads are California, New York and Texas.


Immigration judges decided more than 140,000 initial cases during the 2013 fiscal year, which doesn’t include cases reopened or returned on appeal. More than two-thirds of the immigrants were ordered deported, while about 17 percent qualified for relief. Four years earlier, about 82 percent of the initial cases decided by the courts ended in deportation, according to agency statistics.


The top five countries of origin of immigrants with initial cases decided by the court during the 2013 fiscal year were Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras and China, according to the Justice Department’s Executive Office for Immigration Review.


The Associated Press

The Associated Press


Discussion | 3 comments

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  • Tax PayerJuly 13, 2014 - 6:16 am

    So they will get at least 2+ years of freebies prior to maybe 2/3 being deported. I believe that number will be far left as Obama and his team need them in Republican states to help insure victories for decades to come.

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  • DanielJuly 13, 2014 - 8:15 am

    Take a look while you're driving down the street at the record homelessness, the left's and Obama' trickle down fat federal bureaucracy is not working for them, virtually none of the$17 trillion being blown threw us trickling down to the homeless and poor despite Obama living lavishly. However there's plenty for foreigners that are being recruited with the promise of free dual citizenship and American worker funded entitlements. The important thing for the Demos is that they see long term "D" ballot box checkers joining other dependents and low information voters.

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  • KenRJuly 13, 2014 - 5:19 pm

    What is wrong with your little world that would lead to you spewing h*teful rhetoric? NONE of which is based on anything factual. Your post says more about what is wrong with you. .What source so thoroughly misinforms you that your thoughts and Ideas would be so non-issue and non-constructive?

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