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

TV News Report Includes Director’s Rare Comments Demanding Change

A California NBC TV affiliate has scored a rare interview with the director of the nation’s immigration system, and he’s not holding back in blaming lawmakers for what amounts to a broken system. Bay Area NBC says that “… in his first ever TV interview on camera, the Director of the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) tells NBC Bay Area that only a complete overhaul by Congress will truly fix the issues plaguing the current system.”
“There’s no question that the system, the immigration court system, is under incredible stress right now,” Director Juan Osuna told the NBC Bay Area Investigative Unit, which conducted the interview in Washington, D.C. The multi-part report says that “… according to EOIR’s latest figures, US Immigration Courts received 306,045 cases in 2014 alone. Many of those cases were never heard, adding to a backlog which now totals 445,607 according to Syracuse University’s Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse, or TRAC.”
The comments are rare, both because of what NBC called “tradition” and also because the immigration system, including the judicial branch, are not “courts” at all but really are a function of the Department of Justice. 
See the milestone story here.