Most Immigration Judges Can Retire Now If They Want

With a Sept. 30 deadline passed, more than half of the United States 247 immigration judges, staffing 58 courts nationwide, are eligible to retire. This as the nation faces an immigration courts backlog of more than 450,000 cases. The Los Angeles Times offers a truly alarming look at the situation, starting with outlining that some judges – who are not actually federal judges but employees of the Justice Department – preside over thousands of cases.
The LAT also notes that “… the U.S. attorney general appoints immigration judges. Officials have already started ‘an aggressive hiring process,’ said Kathryn Mattingly, an immigration court spokeswoman. They have hired 18 judges, five more will start this fiscal year, and they plan to hire an additional 67, she said. Last fiscal year, about 100 judges were eligible to retire, but only 13 did, she said.” But the paper quotes current judges lamenting how much more difficult working conditions have become.