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Enforcement Priorities Create Docketing Crisis for Immigration Courts

August 22, 2016 (1 min read)

NBC Bay Area, Aug. 19, 2016- "Nationwide EOIR had more than a half million (500,051) pending cases. What makes things different this year is that after March 1, 2016, EOIR began prioritizing cases the Department of Homeland Security considered “Priority 1 category for civil immigration enforcement. Since July, 2014, EOIR had been prioritizing unaccompanied children, families in detention, families released on alternatives to detention and detained cases of recent border crossers. ... “I’d call it a crisis in the court, but that seems inadequate because we’ve been saying there’s been a crisis for several years, “said Judge Dana Leigh Marks, the President of the National Association of Immigration Judges (NAIJ). Judge Marks spoke to NBC Bay Area as a representative of the NAIJ. “The court is just under tremendous pressure. The judges are feeling the brunt of that.” Judge Marks says she wants to move cases at a quicker pace, but that’s difficult when DHS tells her and other judges how to set their calendars. “It feels like you’re tying my hands back in terms of not letting me use what I think is my best legal judgment after years on the bench to figure out how to schedule my cases so I can get the most done in the shortest period of time,” said Judge Marks."