LexisNexis® Legal Newsroom
Migrant Cases' Fast Track Stirs Alarm

"A Justice Department push for immigration courts to prioritize cases involving unaccompanied minors has raised concern among lawyers and judges that the move could undermine children's rights and lead to an even greater backlog of cases. On Monday, attorneys here representing minors seized...

Top Immigration Judge Calls For Shift On 'Fast-Tracking' Of Refugee Kids, Moms

"As the Obama administration says the number of unaccompanied minors crossing the Southwest border is declining , the White House is being urged to stop fast-tracking their deportation hearings. That call is coming from an unusual source: one of the nation's top immigration judges. "We...

Denver Judges Will Hear Immigration Cases From New Mexico

"Immigration judges in Denver will hear hundreds of cases via closed-circuit TV, the federal government has determined. Judges will review the cases of approximately 600 women and children from Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala who are being held in a facility in Artesia, N.M. The additional cases...

Cost-Effective Procedural Changes Could Shrink the Immigration Court Backlog

New White Paper Calls for Department of Justice to Enact Immigration Reforms Inspired by Civil Justice Reform Act "As the U.S. immigration court system sags under the weight of the Obama administration’s zealous detention and deportation policies, cost-neutral procedural reforms that already...

Immigration Courts 'Operating In Crisis Mode,' Judges Say

"Even before this past summer's surge of unaccompanied minors seeking asylum, the immigration courts were already clogged, says Judge Dana Leigh Marks, president of the National Association of Immigration Judges. "What is an adjective that describes crisis squared?" she asks. "Crisis...

Mary Holper: Confronting Cops in Immigration Court

"Part I of the Article outlines the police report problem by discussing the four situations in which police reports are used in immigration court, why police reports are unreliable, and the scope of the problem. Part II discusses criminal law’s treatment of police reports, focusing on the Confrontation...

Empty Benches: Underfunding of Immigration Courts Undermines Justice

"Among many longstanding problems plaguing the U.S. immigration system is the shortage of immigration judges. Over the past decade, Congress has increased immigration enforcement funding exponentially, yet has not provided the immigration courts commensurate funding to handle the hundreds of thousands...

Immigration Courts Completed 7.3 Percent More Cases in FY 2015 - TRAC

TRAC, Oct. 15, 2015 - "Immigration Court judges were able to complete almost 200,000 cases last year, up 7.3 percent from the year before, according to the latest available case-by-case court records, current as of the close of fiscal year 2015. Preliminary figures indicate a total of 198,105 case...

Caseload Crushes Immigration Court Dockets

Caitlin Esch, Marketplace, Dec. 14, 2015 - " We spoke to one former judge, Eliza Klein , who has decided cases in Miami, Boston and Chicago. She retired recently and now works on immigration cases at a law firm outside Chicago."

Backlogs growing in overworked, chaotic U.S. immigration courts

Dianne Solís, Dallas Morning News, Feb. 11, 2016 - "The U.S. immigration court backlog is at a record of about 470,000 cases — nearly triple the number from a decade ago. The average case now takes two years to wind through the courts. Some can take five. The backlog annoys both the...

Immigration Court Case Backlog Could Hit One Million

Lomi Kriel, Houston Chronicle, Mar. 15, 2016 - "The backlog in Houston's overwhelmed downtown immigration court grew more than 460 percent between 2010 and 2016, swelling from about 6,400 to 36,100 pending cases, according to a new analysis released Tuesday. With only six immigration judges...

Public Defenders Are Needed to Ensure Justice in Our Immigration Court System

Prof. Ingrid Eagly, Apr. 11, 2016 - "The global migration crisis is placing immigration courts in the world spotlight. In the United States, immigration courts are severely backlogged and detention costs are soaring. Yet, because deportation is considered a civil, not a criminal, matter, the Sixth...

Enforcement Priorities Create Docketing Crisis for Immigration Courts

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...

Immigrants Shackled in Boston's Immigration Court

Maria Sacchetti, Boston Globe, Aug. 29, 2016 - "In Boston’s immigration court recently, Judge Steven F. Day asked a defendant to raise his right hand and swear to tell the truth. But Everildo Santiago Najera could barely move. His wrists were cuffed together and padlocked to a chain around...

Access to Counsel in Immigration Court: Special Report

Ingrid Eagly, Steve Shafer, Sept. 28, 2016 - "This report presents the results of the first national study of access to counsel in U.S. immigration courts. Drawing on data from over 1.2 million deportation cases decided between 2007 and 2012, the report provides much-needed information about the...

'Docket Chaos' Roils Immigration Courts

Caitlin Dickerson, New York Times, Oct. 7, 2016 - "The Obama administration is delaying deportation proceedings for recent immigrants in cities across the United States, allowing more than 56,000 of those who fled Central America since 2014 to remain in the country legally for several more years...

A View from the Bench

Hon. Denise Noonan Slavin & Hon. Dorothy Harbeck, The Federal Lawyer, Oct/Nov 2016 - "What is the view from the immigration court bench? Frankly, it is difficult to see anything because there are so many cases! As of January 2016 there were 474,025 cases pending with the U.S. immigration courts...

Immigration Court Reform: Congress, Heed the Call

Christine Lockhart Poarch, Oct. 2016 - "The call for immigration court reform is an old refrain among immigration practitioners and judges, and Congress is beginning to add its voice to the chorus. In January 2016, in response to increasing and substantial immigration court backlogs, the House Judiciary...

Deluged Immigration Courts, Where Cases Stall for Years, Begin to Buckle

Julia Preston, New York Times, Dec. 1, 2016 - "Weighed down by a backlog of more than 520,000 cases, the United States immigration courts are foundering, increasingly failing to deliver timely, fair decisions to people fighting deportation or asking for refuge, according to interviews with lawyers...

The Immigration Court's Institutional Hearing Program: How Will It Be Affected (TRAC, Feb. 22, 2017)

TRAC, Feb. 22, 2017 - "Special Immigration Court hearings under the court's Institutional Hearing Program (IHP) appear slated for expansion under President Trump. A new directive, signed by Department of Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly on Monday, February 20, provides that "to the...

Immigration Court Docket Backlogs, Now Years Out, Will Only Worsen Under Trump

Zoe Tillman, BuzzFeed News, Feb. 23, 2017 - "In a small, windowless courtroom on the second floor of an office building, Judge Rodger Harris heard a string of bond requests on Tuesday morning from immigrants held in jail as they faced deportation. The detainees appeared by video from detention facilities...

SPLC: Atlanta Immigration Court Judges Fail to Uphold Ethical Standards

Mar. 2, 2017 - "Atlanta Immigration Court judges are failing to uphold ethical standards that ensure immigrants receive fair and impartial treatment – failures that warrant an investigation, according to the findings of a project by the Southern Poverty Law Center SPLC and Emory University...

Class Action Lawsuit Claims Delays in Immigration Courts: Cancino Castellar v. Kelly

ACLU San Diego, Mar. 10, 2017 ACLU Files Class Action Lawsuit Against DHS Challenging Months–Long Delays in Bringing Detained Immigrants, Asylum Seekers Before Judges Thousands Are Incarcerated For Months In Remote Facilities Waiting To See A Judge "The ACLU of San Diego & Imperial...

Free ‘public defender’s office’ would represent immigrants in deportation proceedings

Alfonso Chardy, Miami Herald, Mar. 25, 2017 - "A movement is taking shape to create a sort of “public defender’s office” to represent hundreds of thousands of immigrants who may wind up in deportation proceedings and cannot afford an attorney. While the effort is amorphous at this...

Legal logjam in immigration court grows to more than 540,000 cases

Lorelei Laird, ABA Journal, Apr. 1, 2017 - "The government started trying to deport Octavio, a Mexican immigrant, in 2007. He’s still waiting for his case to be resolved, and he will likely continue to wait until at least 2018. Octavio (the Journal is withholding his last name because of...