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US Immigration Court Backlogs/Wait Times

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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

enforcement policy.

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 the Hacking Law Practice, LLC

could help you reach a favorable outcome with your immigration efforts

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