In US immigration courts, wait times in recent years have grown exponentially.
Most judges are expected to process between 400-600 cases a year even though
there aren’t enough judges to do so. They have hearings that are an hour long where
they decide whether or not people deserve to say in the United States. Many people
are unrepresented. There is no constitutional right to have a lawyer at deportation,
but the statistics show that once someone has an attorney their chances of success
increase. It is important to keep mind with deportation that it is a civil proceeding,
not a criminal proceeding. There is no jury.
The national backlog of cases affects Missouri directly. This is due to a massive
increase in immigration over the past several years as well as an uptick in the
In the last decade, immigration cases have quadrupled in this country. In 2016
there were 516,031pending cases nationwide, which increased to 629,051just one
year later. Currently, the national immigration case backlog has tripled from 2009
and now stands at 658,729 across the nation. This backlog reflects the recent surge
in immigration over the past decade with the highest immigration rate since 1971.
In May of 2019, the U.S. made 133,000 apprehensions at the U.S.-Mexico border,
the highest number since 2006. Additionally, the share of immigrants from Central
America is growing rapidly, with courts seeing more cases from Guatemala,
Honduras, and El Salvador.
The immigration court system is severely overburdened and under-resourced.
There are only about 63 immigration courts nationwide, trying to serve close to
700,000 people. There are not enough judges to run the courts efficiently. When
immigrants arrive, if they lack authorization or ICE detains them, the NTA will
start a harrowing process with much at stake. As of now, if you live in Missouri
and are in the immigration system, you can expect to wait nearly a year for your
initial calendar hearing, and almost two years after that for your merit hearing. It is
important to note that you are not entitled to an attorney’s assistance and may have
to navigate the complex system alone.
To counterbalance any disadvantages the system poses, people often turn to the
help of an experienced attorney. A lawyer from Hacking Immigration Law, LLC
could help you reach a favorable outcome with your immigration efforts