Immigration Courts Face Serious Backlogs, Immigrants Suffer as a Result

A closer look into the day of one immigration judge in Kansas City is merely a reflection of the burden shared by other judges throughout the country. The article, published in The Kansas City Star, reveals just how backlogged the U.S. immigration system has become and how judges appear powerless to do anything about it.

As of October 2014, Paula Davis was the only immigration judge in Kansas City. She received a new case every 10 minutes on average and was scheduling follow-up hearing dates for more than two years into the future. Unfortunately, it doesn’t appear that this will be changing anytime soon.

Davis has plans to retire this summer. Until then, she works tirelessly each day to hear as many cases as possible alongside her small but effective team. Perhaps what is most surprising is the fact that Kansas is on the lower end of backlogged immigration cases with just 4,000 pending – California as a whole has nearly 90,000 pending cases and San Francisco alone has almost 30,000.

Is there a viable solution to the madness?

For immigrants in Kansas City, the future doesn’t look very promising. There is still no official plan in place for after Davis retires and right now, existing gaps are being filled by visiting judges from Salt Lake City.

Some believe that the lack of judges could stem from the hiring freeze that was in place and the 2013 government shutdown. People have certainly applied, but actually getting to the bench is a different story. Applicants must first be screened and trained, a process that doesn’t happen overnight.

Being an immigrant in the world we currently live in is no easy task and going without an attorney makes things that much harder. Fortunately, you do not have to face the complex system on your own. At The Law Office of Timothy D. Widman, attorney Timothy D. Widman is devoted to helping immigrants in San Jose, Cupertino, and throughout California achieve their American dreams.

If you are hoping to obtain an employment-based visa like an H-1B, your first step should be to consult with an immigration attorney. The earlier they get involved, the more effectively you can bypass and eliminate delays. Why wait? Call the firm today to schedule your consultation.