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Immigration Court Backlog Continues to Rise

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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.

Bryon M. Large, Sr. is a Senior Associate Attorney at Kolko & Associates, P.C., a Denver-based full service immigration law firm. He is licensed to practice law by the Colorado Supreme Court and has also been admitted by the United States District Court for the District of Colorado and the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit. He received his Juris Doctor degree from the University of Denver and his undergraduate degree from the University of New Mexico. Bryon actively practices removal defense, federal litigation, family-based and employment-based immigration, asylum and naturalization.

Bryon is a past Chapter Chair for the Colorado Chapter of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), as well as a Past Chair of the Immigration Law Section of the Colorado Bar Association. He currently serves as the President of the Colorado LGBT Bar Association, an Elected Director on the AILA Board of Governors, and is a member of the National LGBT Bar Association.

Bryon’s true passion in life is being a father to his two children.

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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.