How Did The Government Shutdown Affect Immigration Courts?

Published: Monday, January 28, 2019 - 9:37am
Updated: Monday, January 28, 2019 - 2:10pm
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As the effects of the partial government shutdown continue to play out, what's happening in the immigration courts?

In May, The Show talked to the secretary-treasurer of the National Association of Immigration Judges (NAIJ), Judge Lawrence Berman. He said there was about 700,000 backlogged cases in immigration courts nationwide — and that was before the partial government shutdown that ended Friday.

Syracuse University’s Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC) estimated that, if the shutdown lasted until Feb. 1, the immigration court backlog would’ve grown by another 100,000 cases nationwide. But as we know, it ended just shy of that.

The total for Arizona’s backlog in that time? Over 2,000 cases.

During the shutdown, the cases of individuals already in immigration detention weren’t cancelled, but the rest of the cases were. That means about 300 of the 400 total immigration judges were furloughed — and that includes Judge Ashley Tabaddor, president of the National Association of Immigration Judges.

Please note Judge Tabaddor does not speak for the U.S. Department of Justice, but only in her capacity as NAIJ's president.

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