A recent Syracuse University Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC) report shows that federal immigration courts’ backlog of cases awaiting resolution has reached an all time high of 496,704. A third of those cases involve border surge minors (69,278) and family units (74,502) which have increased as a result of the Obama administration’s catch-and-release policies.
In February 2016 the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) announced the addition of 34 new federal immigration judges bringing the total to 273. These additions have done little to alleviate the backlog since incoming cases continue to exceed the number of case dispositions each month. Currently there are 1,819 pending cases per immigration judge, which would take the judges 2.5 years to complete if no new cases were filed.
Last year a federal judge ruled that certain illegal-alien families and alien minors must be quickly processed and released, due to the Flores-agreement signed in 1997. However, an appeals court this year found that alien adults can be detained. Now Pres. Obama’s catch-and-release policy is causing another surge of illegal aliens crossing the border and adding to the already massive backlog.
Dan Cadman, Fellow at the Center of Immigration Studies, wrote in response to the report, “This is astounding because wholesale arrival of unaccompanied minors and women bringing their children illegally across our borders is a relatively new phenomenon in the decades-old problem of illegal-border crossers. It is one that has developed during the Obama administration because of lax policies that actually drive the flow because they force government agencies to act as the middle-men who complete the smuggling transaction of placing these minors and women with the families that engaged coyotes to smuggle them into the United States to begin with.”
Read more on this story at CBS.com.
Updated: Fri, Aug 5th 2016 @ 12:25pm EDT