Analysis from the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) of a new Government Accountability Office report found that a massive backlog of pending immigration cases is due more to the amount of time immigration courts are taking to hear cases than the actual number of aliens in proceedings. The GAO report found that immigration courts are facing a massive backlog with 437,000 pending cases.
According to the GAO report, the number of pending cases facing immigration courts more than doubled between fiscal years 2006 and 2015. This backlog has increased normal wait time for illegal aliens to face a judge from 198 days to 404 days and has forced some courts to schedule deportation hearings as far out as February 2022.
The GAO report noted that over the 10-year period (2006-2015) new case receipts generally decreased while “other” case receipts were generally increasing.
CIS concluded that “other” cases including motions to reopen, reconsider, or recalendar, and remands by the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA), increased by 86%, from 58,000 in FY 2006 to 108,000 in FY 2015.
CIS also found that the number of completed court cases declined by 31%, from about 287,000 cases completed in 2006 to about 199,000 in 2015. The reason for the decline was due to an increase in the number of continuances that immigration judges were granting.
The GAO report showed that continuances increased by 23% from FY06 to FY15. The report also pointed out that, "cases that experience more continuances take longer to complete."
“Most critically, the cases in which the largest number of continuances that GAO identified were issued, those with "four or more continuances," increased from 9 percent of cases completed in FY 2006 to 20 percent of cases completed in FY 2015,” CIS wrote in their analysis.
Read the full analysis at The Center for Immigration Studies.
Updated: Fri, Jun 23rd 2017 @ 11:35am EDT