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NAIJ Urges Congress to End Government Shutdown

January 14, 2019 (1 min read)

On January 9, 2019, the President of the National Association of Immigration Judges, A. Ashley Tabaddor, sent this letter to all U.S. senators and representatives.  She stated:

"There is currently a backlog of more than 800,000 pending immigration cases (an increase of 200,000 cases in less than two years, in spite of the largest growth in the number of
judges in recent history - from under 300 to over 400 U.S. Immigration Judges). We, as Immigration Judges, are responsible for determining whether claimants can remain in the United
States or must be deported or detained.

Because of the crushing backlog of cases, our individual court calendars are booked, morning and afternoon, every day of the week, multiple years in advance. Some days our judges
have more than 80 cases on their dockets. Every day that our courts are closed, thousands of cases are cancelled and have to be rescheduled. However, the likely re-scheduling option is - as Washington Post editorial writers suggest - plucked from a New Yorker cartoon: "Never. Does never work for you?" While this is hyperbole, it is not far from the truth. Since it is impossible to predict when these cases can reasonably be rescheduled, it might as well be "never."

The concept of "never" cannot be accepted and does not work for the United States."