Among many longstanding problems plaguing the U.S. immigration system is the shortage of immigration judges. Over the past decade, Congress has increased immigration enforcement funding exponentially, yet has not provided the immigration courts commensurate funding to handle the hundreds of thousands of new removal cases they receive each year. The resulting backlog has led to average hearing delays of over a year and a half, with serious adverse consequences. Backlogs and delays benefit neither immigrants nor the government—keeping those with valid claims in limbo and often in detention, delaying removal of those without valid claims, and calling into question the integrity of the immigration justice system.
Dramatic Immigration Enforcement Spending Increases, Without Commensurate Court Resource Increases, Have Placed Extraordinary Burdens on the Courts
Over the last decade, the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) immigration enforcement resources have increased dramatically (Figure 1):
- Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) combined spending increased 105 percent from Fiscal Year (FY) 2003 to FY 2015, from $9.1 billion to approximately $18.7 billion.
- Moreover, the federal government increasingly leveraged state law-enforcement resources for immigration enforcement through programs like Secure Communities and 287(g).
In contrast, as increased enforcement has contributed to immigration court backlogs, court funding has not kept pace (Figure 1):Read more...
Published On: Thu, May 21, 2015 | Download File