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Research Suggests Immigration Court Backlog is Getting Worse

Plus: Immigrant advocates are skeptical of Biden's ICE reforms, Democratic budget could include pathways to citizenship

This summary was featured in Documented’s Early Arrival newsletter. You can subscribe to receive it in your inbox three times per week here.

Syracuse University’s Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse discovered the number of backlogged U.S. immigration cases is growing faster than it can be completed. Data shows 126,911 new immigration court cases were added so far this fiscal year, while 68,260 cases have been finished. The total number of backlogged cases is now up to 1,337,372. The numbers continue to rise even though President Joe Biden hired a dozen new immigration judges. The White House meanwhile contended it has made “significant progress at establishing a well-managed and secure border while also treating people fairly and humanely.” Border Report 

Advocates Skeptical Over Biden’s ICE Reforms

Advocates are starting doubt the Biden administration is taking adequate steps to address the immigration court backlog. ICE announced earlier this month it would give attorneys more discretion to drop cases in a reversal from a Trump-era push to seek deportation. But at the same time, the agency directed ICE lawyers to consider how long immigrants were in the U.S., their ties with the community and other humanitarian factors when mapping out cases. A second memo directed immigration judges to quickly decide cases and trust ICE lawyers’ judgment, which advocates say is an abdication of justice. The Hill 

Democrats Want Their Budget to Include Immigration Reform

Democrats want their $6 trillion infrastructure plan to do more than just create roads and bridges. They want to expand health care access and even complete their long-running effort to grant legal status to specific immigrants, including Dreamers. Democrats are currently setting up a draft budget document, which shows what they would like to accomplish. It could include a pathway to citizenship for young immigrants and even those with Temporary Protected Status, and perhaps even essential workers. Democrats say allowing more immigrants to apply for legal status and citizenship will raise revenue via fees and help pay for budget proposals. The Associated Press

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