SAN ANTONIO — More federal judges are on the way to help reduce the backlog of nearly half a million immigration cases in the country.
Congressman Henry Cuellar announced he has secured funding for 55 new immigration judges. According to the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse at Syracuse, there’s more than 80,000 pending immigration cases in Texas.
A local immigration attorney with the Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services said that the effectiveness of these judges will depend on which cases they look at first. He noted that the nation’s courts are prioritizing cases involving women and children.
“So, if the new judges come in and prioritize for the women and children, then we really won’t see a difference,” attorney Mohammad Abdollahi said.
He added that cases which have been pushed back until 2019 should also be a priority.
“We have cases out of Austin, where one family member that was able to apply for asylum or protection and was able to successfully win their case, and then the husband has been waiting until 2019 and so they can’t process their case,” Abdollahi said. “Because all of the non-docket cases have been pushed back. We wouldn’t be seeing 8, 9 year waits for a lot of people’s cases.”
Cuellar’s bill also provides more assistance to the agencies that are on the front lines including U.S. Attorneys, Marshals, the DEA and ATF.
By Sharon Ko for Kens5
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