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San Francisco Bay Area Immigration Blog

Exorbitant Wait Times for Hearing Dates in Overworked Immigration Courts

According to a September 21, 2015 TRAC report, immigration courts throughout the nation continue to experience severe backlogs and delays. In January 2015, thousands of individuals in immigration proceedings were issued hearing notices dates in 2019, approximately five years from now: on November 29th, 2019.

The Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) stressed that the delay is necessary to make room in immigration judges’ schedules for the flood of high priority cases involving unaccompanied minors and mothers with children who crossed the United States-Mexico border last year.

The EOIR has also stated that the 2019 dates are merely placeholders and that it is likely that a majority of cases will soon be rescheduled to earlier dates. How much earlier is currently unknown.

It has now been over seven months since the original rush of rescheduling notices and there are no signs of the backlog lifting. The backlog has actually gone up to 11.9 percent since the beginning of this fiscal year; a third higher than it was at the beginning of fiscal year 2014.

456,644 cases were pending before the Immigration Courts at the end of August of this year, an increase of more than 100,000 from the 344,230 cases pending at the start of 2014.