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Immigration Court Backlog Grows: TRAC Report

September 20, 2023 (1 min read)

TRAC, Sept. 20, 2023

"August 2023 saw a record number of new deportation cases arrive at the Immigration Court. A total of 180,065 new Notices to Appear (NTAs) arrived during August. This is a jump of 19 percent in just one month; July filings had reached a previous high of 151,910. While the growth rate of 19 percent is large, it has moderated from the 28 percent jump seen from June to July.  Thus far more than 1,230,000 new deportation cases have been added to the Court’s docket during FY 2023. ... All Immigration Courts across the country are struggling with large backlogs. While the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) has ramped up recruiting efforts to add new Immigration Judges, decades of underfunding have meant that it has been unable to make a dent in the backlog which continues to climb. It has reached 2,620,591 at the end of August.  Each month more cases arrive than the Court is able to process. And the gap is widening since arrivals have been increasingly outpacing completions, as shown in Figure 3. It is no longer possible to even estimate wait times since growing numbers of cases now are waiting without any hearing even scheduled, And some new Court initiatives to speed the processing of newly arriving cases are pushing older cases farther and farther back in line, waiting for hearings. Growing numbers of even old cases cannot be scheduled for their hearings because there is no room on the docket."