The U.S. immigration courts have a backlog of 1.3 million cases that is severely delaying their resolution. The average wait time for a case to be heard is over 4 years.
During the Trump administration, the backlog grew from about 500,000 to the current number. The primary driver of the increase was the many cases fielded by the Department of Homeland Security. The Trump administration also hired many more immigration judges, but not enough to reduce the backlog significantly.
The growing backlog problem preceded the Trump administration., During the Obama administration, the backlog of cases pending before the immigration courts grew from nearly 200,000 cases to over 500,000 cases. Various reforms to address the backlog have been proposed, including removing non-priority cases from the docket. At this time, no reform proposals are close to implementation.
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