DOJ Says Immigration Judge Surge Has Been Effective

REUTERS/Caitlin O'Hara

Alex Pfeiffer White House Correspondent
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A Justice Department initiative to mobilize over one hundred immigration judges to the border led to 21 more percent cases being completed, according to the DOJ.

The U.S. immigration court system, managed by the Executive Office of Immigration Review (EOIR), faces a staggering backlog of more than 630,000 cases, according to recent statistics. An executive order signed by President Trump designed to address this backlog called for reassigning and hiring more judges.

“Comparing the results of the surge to historical scheduling and outcome data, EOIR has projected that the mobilized immigration judges have completed approximately 2,700 more cases than expected if the immigration judges had not been detailed. This means that completed cases by detailed immigration judges have outpaced expected home court deferrals, resulting in a positive net effect on the nationwide caseload,” The Justice Department said in a press release. “Also, immigration judges mobilized to surge sites completed approximately 21 percent more cases on detail than the historical, expected performance of nondetailed immigration judges at the same base locations.”

The intense court backlog has been blamed by acting ICE Director Thomas Homan for slowing down deportations.

“Everybody wants their day in court,” Homan told The Daily Caller in July . “When they’re nationals of Mexico, they are easy removals, they’re quick removals. Non-criminals are quick removals. Nowadays we got a lot more Central Americans, a lot of them are claiming fear. So their immigration proceedings are a lot longer. They’re playing the system and criminals take a little longer to remove because of certain proceedings they have to have.”

An executive order signed by Trump in January allowed DHS to expand the amount of illegal immigrants who can be deported without a court hearing, however, it has yet to be implemented.