The wait for foreigners with pending cases in an immigration court can reach up to 1,450 days, that is to say more than four years, due to the traffic jams in the courts, an analysis of the independent Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse center warned on Friday ( TRAC ).
The report details the impact that, due to the long waiting time, affects more than one million pending cases in immigration courts throughout the country.
Until September 2019, 1,023,767 records were accumulated in the courts where 440 judges exercise throughout the nation.
Despite the fact that the government of President Donald Trump has taken several measures to resolve the traffic jam, the average wait exceeds 1,400 days in California, Texas or Philadelphia courts.
For example, a migrant who is seeking to resolve his case in the Imperial Court, on the border of California with Mexico, has to wait 1,459 days.
Meanwhile, the immigration court in San Antonio, Texas, has an average waiting time of 1,422 days.
The picture is more bleak for migrants with cases in the Arlington Court, Virginia, which according to the report is a court that exemplifies the problem.
At the end of April 2017 there were 28,272 pending active cases in this court, but the number grew to 39,131 at the end of last September.
The projected average waiting times have increased from 1,165 days in April 2017 to 1,607 days , or what is the same, 4.4 years now.
In Arlington court there are hearings scheduled for December 18, 2023 .
The situation is not better in New York, where the immigration court has the largest number of cases in the country, with 102,052 files waiting.
In this court there are hearings scheduled for December 2024 , that is, more than five years.
Researchers at Syracuse University, where the TRAC center is housed, attribute the time cluster not to an increase in immigration, but to the Trump administration’s policies.
Specifically, the analysis indicates that the Government’s decision to reopen hundreds of thousands of cases that had been administratively closed has exacerbated the crisis alone.
“This political decision has caused a much greater increase in the portfolio of court requests than all currently pending cases of families and individuals arrested along the southwest border seeking asylum,” the report notes.
The analysis is published a day after The Washington Post brought to light a secret White House program to review asylum requests in a period of only about 10 days on the southern border.
This program, which is called “Immediate Review of the Asylum Application”, is carried out in the El Paso area (Texas), which has become a test bench for Trump’s border policies.
Recently, the Government has also implemented a measure that limits the right to asylum to Central Americans who, on their way to the US, have not requested such protection in a third country.