BuzzFeed Notes Milestone In Immigration Court Backlog: 500,000

A man climbs over the international border into Nogales, Ariz., from Nogales, Mexico. Matt York / AP

A man climbs over the international border into Nogales, Ariz., from Nogales, Mexico. Matt York / AP

The BuzzFeed News is among those noting the milestone in Immigration Court backlog, reporting that “… the backlog of immigration court cases has ballooned to an all-time high of more than 500,000, a number fueled by unaccompanied minors and families from Central America, officials said Wednesday” and adding that “… the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) said there are 500,051 pending immigration cases in the U.S. system. To deal with the backlog, EOIR plans to boost the number of immigration judges from 277 to 399.”

Reporter Adolfo Flores backgrounds that “… the backlog has been fueled by a growing number of unaccompanied minors and families, mostly from Central America, who have been crossing the border in recent years. Many of them are fleeing violence back home and are seeking better economic prospects in the US.”

Read the story here:

US Immigration Court Backlog Exceeds 500,000 Cases For First Time

D.C. And L.A. Getting More ‘Border Children’

The Los Angeles Times is breaking down where the children caught illegally crossing the border are going, noting that cities like Washington with large populations from the originating countries are getting the most newcomers. The Times says reports that D.C. “… is home to an estimated 165,000 Salvadoran immigrants, the nation’s second-largest population after the Los Angeles area’s 275,000, according to the Migration Policy Institute. The capital region had 42,000 immigrants from Guatemala and 30,000 from Honduras.”
 
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Administration for Children and Families reports that 2,234 unaccompanied minors were released to sponsors in Virginia between Jan. 1 and July 7, ranking the state fifth after Texas, New York, Florida and California. It’s not noted in the story, but those numbers are expected to accelerate as tens of thousands of children being held are processed into the Immigration Court system.
 

Border Cases Expedited Over Backlog

The tens of thousands of “border children” immigration cases are being moved to the front of the line in immigration courts, often moving ahead of people who have waited for years to have their day in court, says a Sacramento Bee newspaper report. The story follows a San Francisco immigration court where two judges were assigned “special dockets.” 
 
“The border surge cases are now getting top billing on our dockets, and this immigration court has already been resource-deprived to the point of being anorexic,” said one of the judge quoted in the report. That judge had 2,482 cases on her docket July 25, before the surge of cases began arriving.
 
The flood of new cases is straining a court that was already overtaxed before tens of thousands of children started crossing illegally into the United States, says the report.
 
 
 

Mercury News Blasts Border Crisis Response

The San Jose Mercury News is blasting the government response to the border crisis of unaccompanied children, saying that  “… surely the United States will meet this hemisphere’s crisis in a humane manner befitting its history” and outlining that the “policy” crisis is really a funding crisis.
 
“Republicans have wanted to fund enforcement but not judges,” asserts the paper. “There are just 243 nationwide. Los Angeles County alone has more than 400 judges on its Superior Court. There’s no way the immigration judges can keep up, let alone catch up… refugees from violence are a worldwide challenge. People fleeing wanton slaughter in places like Somalia, Syria and Uganda often end up in nearby countries that are ill-equipped for the influx. But they try.”
 
The editorial is being picked up around California, and you can read it here: Another View: July 21, 2014

AP Story On Immigration Crisis Gets Traction

A Los Angeles-based story by Amy Taxin of the Associated Press continues to be used by those making the case for legal representation for the unaccompanied children awaiting processing to determine if they can stay in the U.S. 
 
Her story opens in Los Angeles with a dramatic courthouse scene: [The judge} … grabbed four thick books and dropped each one on his desk with a thud, warning the families in his Los Angeles courtroom about the thousands of pages of immigration laws and interpretations that could affect their cases, and urging them to get a lawyer. “This is even smaller print,” he said of the 1,200-page book containing regulations during the hearing last month. “I am not trying to scare you, but I’m trying to ensure your children get a full and fair hearing.”
 
To read the AP report via the Columbus (Ohio) Dispatch, click here.