Monday, January 7, 2019

Government Shutdown Grinds Immigration Courts to a Halt Amid Huge Backlog

Posted By on Mon, Jan 7, 2019 at 11:30 AM

click to enlarge President Trump's promise to expedite removal of border crossers has taken a step back thanks to the shutdown he engineered. - GAGE SKIDMORE (WIKIMEDIA COMMONS)
  • Gage Skidmore (Wikimedia Commons)
  • President Trump's promise to expedite removal of border crossers has taken a step back thanks to the shutdown he engineered.
Gosh, manufacturing a "border crisis" is turning out to be trickier than President Trump thought.

Thanks to the ongoing government shutdown, nearly all immigration court hearings scheduled for the past two weeks will need to be rescheduled, CNBC reports. That's because the U.S. government's 400 or so immigration judges have been sitting at home rather than on the bench since Justice Department funds ran dry in late December.

With the delay in court hearings, some immigrants scheduled for deportation may be able to stay in the country for years longer as they wait for rescheduled court dates, according to CNBC. The U.S. now faces a historic backlog of 800,000 pending cases.

Cleary, that delay seems to fly in the face of Trump's repeated promise to pitch out everyone who crossed into the country without documents. The president, after all, has been more than happy to own the shutdown, claiming it's all about his effort to "secure our borders."

According to the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse at Syracuse University, the average wait time for an immigration hearing has ballooned to more than 700 days. In San Antonio courts, the wait stands at 1,164 days.

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