Colorado Has Longest Immigration Court Delay: 933 days, 9K cases pending


Demonstrating for immigrant rights in Arizona. Photo credit, Colorado Public Radio report, 3/3/16

Colorado Public Radio is reporting that the Mile High State “… now has the longest delays in the nation for immigrants trying to have their cases heard before an immigration judge. The average waiting period is 933 days, and there are 9,420 cases pending.”

The network asks Denver immigration attorney Jennifer Casey to explain the situation while noting that it “… could get worse given the immigration-crackdown rhetoric in this political campaign season.”
Her initial comment: “If you look at the immigration courts over the last three years in Colorado, what we’ve seen is a reduction by about 50 percent of the immigration judges here locally. So we went from six judges in 2013 and we’re now down to three judges in 2016.”

The attorney also offers some background: “So, 50 percent reduction in immigration judges, 20 percent increase in cases and then the third factor is that the immigration courts nationally have prioritized certain cases above other cases. So we’ve got a priority docket and those are individuals who have entered the U.S. recently, specifically since May of 2014, who are either unaccompanied children or families with children. Mostly we’re talking about women and children but not exclusively.”
Of course, she also notes that the long delays benefit those with weaker cases to remain in the United States while hurting those with the better cases, because they cannot get a court date to win legal status.

– See more at: Why Denver’s Immigration Court Has The Longest Hearing Delays In The US

Denver Case Foreshadows Immigration Showdowns

A new twist in civil immigration is emerging in Denver, as an immigrant is taking sanctuary in a church basement while protestors make his case an example of people trapped in the on-again, off-again immigration policy crated by President Obama’s executive actions and the resulting Republican opposition.
The Denver Post reports that Arturo Hernandez Garcia, who is in the United States without legal permission, has been living under sanctuary protection in the First Unitarian Society of Denver church. Jennifer Piper, who is with the Denver office of American Friends Service Committee, said he plans to remain in sanctuary until he can secure some relief. Meanwhile, on Tuesday, an immigration court refused to reopen Garcia’s case. His next steps are to apply for a legal stay to stop deportation and to apply for status under Obama’s orders.
About 40 of his supporters rallied outside the immigration court building in downtown Denver to protest the latest legal action in his case.On the same day, the House passed a Department of Homeland Security funding bill that contains amendments that would gut President Obama’s immigration reform measures. One amendment also would end the 3-year-old program that gives law-abiding immigrants brought to the country as children the right to work and to be free from the threat of deportation.
You can expect that immigrants, especially those with families including United States citizens, are going to repeat the Denver example. So stay tuned and check out the Post story here: Immigration vote sends chilling message to those facing deportation