Immigration Court Backlog Up 300%, System ‘On Brink of Collapse’

Paul Bedard, Washington Examiner, March 21, 2019

The American Bar Association is warning of an “existential crisis” over the unprecedented surge in the number of immigration cases clogging up courts.

In a new 176-page report that repeatedly raps the Trump administration’s policies, the ABA said that the backlog in immigration courts is over 1 million.

“Crucially, the number of cases pending before the immigration courts (which were about 262,000 cases at the time of the 2010 Report) has increased to unprecedented levels. There were more than 760,000 pending cases at the end of FY 2018 and an additional 330,000 cases that could be returned to active dockets in short order,” it said in revealing the latest accurate numbers.

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“Today the immigration courts are facing an existential crisis. In light of the fundamentally changed nature of the threat to the immigration court system, the overall conclusion … is that the current system is irredeemably dysfunctional and on the brink of collapse,” said the report.

The ABA is calling for a new and politically independent “Article I” court system similar to the U.S. Tax Court to handle the immigration cases.

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