Immigration Courts Backlogged

Approximately 130 immigration judges can retire by September 30th of this year. Immigration judges are faced with a backlog of more than 450,000 cases around the nation.

While the average judge will decide about 500 cases per year, immigration judges have a case load of almost three times that. On average, each immigration judge around the country decides nearly 1,400 cases a year.

Many immigration judges are burned out due to the heavy work load and the emotional content of the cases. Regardless of how many judges end up retiring, more judges need to be hired in order to reduce the case backlog.

The Attorney General needs to hire at least 100 new judges. So far, the Attorney General has hired 18 new judges and is in the process of hiring at least 67 more, but that still puts the cases behind schedule.

The lack of judges means that cases are being delayed. Some cases do not have hearing dates until 2019. In addition to the new judges, new clerks need to be hired as well to help write the decisions.




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