Computer Glitch Stalls Civil Immigration Cases

A nationwide computer glitch has stalled thousands of civil lawsuits over immigration, according to a Dallas Morning News report that says a “… a month-long computer malfunction continues in the Dallas immigration courts and those around the nation. Even before the techno-problems, there was a significant back log of about 5,600 cases for the five judges of Dallas.”

The delays will no doubt draw attention to the differences between civil and criminal immigration systems, especially the fact that the criminal dockets and outcomes are much more transparent than civil actions taken by, or against, the government.

For example, the Morning News report includes information from a Syracuse University-based research group that “… already, a backlog of nearly 367,000 pending cases weights the immigration courts through March 2014…” The group says it hopes to bring transparency to the nation’s federal agencies, including the immigration courts where court filings aren’t public as they are in the federal criminal, civil and bankruptcy courts. The non-profit runs a massive fact-gathering system using the Freedom of Information Act, according to the Morning News.

Check it out on the Scoop Blog here: Computer hardware failure in immigration courts snarling some cases