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Immigration Court Backlog Continues to Rise

Denver Immigration Court

The Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC) recently reported that the backlog for the immigration courts grew to an astounding 445,607 as of April 30, 2015, nationwide. The backlog appears to be the result of a changed focus for the courts to hearing cases involving recent arrivals and unaccompanied minors. Representing 15.7% of the docket, unaccompanied minors cases appear to be moving quickly as there were just over 700 fewer cases at the end of April than there were at the end of March, evidencing the government’s focus on making children’s cases a priority in the immigration court system.

Also noteworthy in the TRAC report are other statistics. Mexican nationals make up 130,823 of the pending backlogged cases, representing 29% of the docket.  California has the highest backlog of cases, followed by Texas, New York, Florida, and New Jersey.

In Colorado, our backlog totaled 8,689 cases at the end of April 2015. Of those cases, 1,193 are juvenile cases. And of the juvenile cases, 545 or 46% are unrepresented by counsel, evidencing a disturbing problem within the system where there is not enough access to counsel in removal proceedings for those cases deemed to be a high priority for removal.

Finally, the average case being adjudicated in the Denver Immigration Court has been on the docket for 846 days, and 113 days, on average, for those detained at the GEO/ICE Processing Facility in Aurora, Colorado.

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Kolko & Casey, P.C. is a full service immigration and naturalization law firm providing professional legal services to individuals and businesses throughout Colorado, the Rocky Mountain West, the United States, and the World. Our professional staff speaks English, Spanish, Korean, and Portuguese and we can arrange for translators in any other language.