L.A. Times Calls Out Congress Over Immigration Court Backlog

In a major editorial, the Los Angeles Times is calling upon Congress to fix the immigration court backlog and offers some compelling numbers in the process: “… over the last 10 years, the workload of the federal immigration court system has increased by 146% to an astounding 453,948 active cases at the end of July. The average amount of time each of those cases has been pending: 627 days. Some have been lingering for years.”
The LAT also notes that the backlog effects are exactly what we don’t want: People who have no legal right to be in the country get lengthy reprieves simply because the judges can’t get to their cases while those with legit claims are left “twisting in the wind.”
The editorial says that “… the reason for the enormous backlog is clear. While the government has poured money into enhancing border security — the number of border agents has nearly doubled to 21,000 in the last decade — it has failed to similarly increase the capacity of the immigration court system that hears deportation cases. According to a recent report, immigration enforcement budgets increased 300% from 2002 through 2013, but immigration court budgets rose only 70%.
The immigration courts are really an international embarrassment for the United States. The LAT editorial shows just how bad it is, and why it’s likely to get worse: The immigration court backlog: Why won’t Congress act?