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Growth in the Immigration Court Backlog Continues in FY 2019

“The Immigration Court backlog continues to rise. As of November 30, 2018, the number of pending cases on the court’s active docket grew to 809,041 cases. This is almost a fifty percent increase compared to the 542,411 cases pending at the end of January 2017 when President Trump took office. This figure does not include the additional 330,211 previously completed cases that EOIR placed back on the “pending” rolls that have not yet been put onto the active docket. The state of Maryland continues to lead the pack with the highest rate of increase in pending cases since the beginning of FY 2017 — up by 107 percent. In absolute terms, California has the largest Immigration Court backlog – 146,826 cases waiting decision – up by 54 percent. These results are based upon proceeding-by-proceeding internal Immigration Court records obtained and analyzed by the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse at Syracuse University Just in the last two months, the Immigration Court active backlog has grown by over 40 thousand cases. Particularly high growth rates of 10 percent or higher were experienced at nine Immigration Courts. The two courts with the highest rate of growth in their backlog were two courts at ICE detention facilities. The Eloy Immigration Court in Arizona saw its backlog increase by 144 percent, while the Conroe Immigration Court (Houston SPC) in Texas had an increase of 62 percent. These increases occurred even though the court assigns the highest priority to hearing detained cases.”

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