The immigration court backlog is a serious issue in the United States. Immigration judges are buried under a mountain of cases, and the problem has only been getting worse. The backlog has grown faster than ever, and there are now more than 1,600,000 cases from October – December 2021, waiting to be heard, according to a report.
The U.S. Immigration Court system is currently struggling with huge amounts of pending cases that at the end of December 2021 reached 1,596,193 — the largest in history. If every person with a pending immigration case were gathered together it would be larger than the population of Philadelphia, the sixth-largest city in the United States. Previous administrations — all the way back through at least the George W. Bush administration — have failed when they tried to tackle the seemingly intractable problem of the Immigration Court “backlog.”
Yet a disturbing new trend has emerged during the Biden administration that demands attention: since the start of the Biden administration, the growth of the backlog has been accelerating at a breakneck pace. Immigration is a major issue in the United States and it has been since the start of the Biden administration.
In recent years, there have been many changes to immigration law. The Obama administration made some changes to immigration law in 2014, including DACA and DAPA, which were controversial decisions. Trump’s presidency has also brought about a number of changes to immigration law that have been controversial.
There are many reasons why this trend is disturbing, but we will focus on two: the effect on the legal system and the effect on society as a whole. First, there’s the effect on the legal system. There are already too many cases where immigrants have been charged with crimes when they were just trying to get by – this administration will only make matters worse. Next, there’s the effect on society as a whole – this administration will put more pressure on schools, hospitals, and other public services that we all rely on for our daily lives, as many immigrants are a core part of the workforce.
At the start of the Bush administration, the backlog stood at just 149,338. By 2008, the backlog had grown substantially and continued to grow under President Obama. And it only accelerated under President Trump. But in recent months, the rate of growth has exploded.
The backlog grew substantially during the Bush administration because of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. The immigration system has been in need of reform for decades. The United States needs to make it easier for people to enter the country legally and provide a pathway to citizenship for those who are already living here.
There is no perfect solution, but reforming the immigration system would be a step in the right direction. The United States is a nation of immigrants. The country was built by immigrants and has been sustained by them.
The backlog now is eight times larger than 10 years ago, at 1.6 million pending cases, and wait times for a hearing on an immigrant’s asylum claims, for example, now average 58 months or just under 5 years.
If this is an issue affecting you and/or your loved ones, give us a call at Shepelsky Law Group, where our incredible team will take care of you and get to work on your case: ☎ 718-769-6352