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46 New Judges, Experienced Judges Leaving the Bench and a Soaring Immigration Court Case Backlog


The current backlog of pending U.S. immigration cases is over 1.2 million. In New Jersey, there are 67,296 backlogged cases and New York is backlogged by 136,074 removal proceedings. Add to that the effected cases caused by recent and ongoing immigration court closings due to the pandemic - it's estimated, given currently available data, that 368,000 cases now before the Immigration Court have already been adversely affected.


Meanwhile, a record number of experienced immigration judges are also leaving the bench. In 2019, 35 Immigration Court judges either resigned or retired. While Immigration Courts are losing many of their most experienced judges, the backlog of cases continues to inflate. It is now almost three times the level when President Trump assumed office.


The increased judge hiring pattern coupled with the record number of judges leaving the bench means that more cases are being heard by judges with quite limited experience as immigration judges. One third (33%) of all the immigration court judges currently sitting in the immigration courts have only been there since 2019. Still, with 46 new immigration judges announced on July 17, 2020, the total number of EOIR judges reached 509 - the highest total in U.S. history.


Of the 46 new judges, three new Judges were appointed in the Newark, New Jersey Immigration Court and nine new Judges were appointed in the New York Immigration Courts.

See all the newly appointed immigration judges at https://www.justice.gov/eoir/page/file/1295301/download

See the TRAC Immigration tools at https:

//trac.syr.edu/phptools/immigration/court_backlog/

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Alina Kaganovsky, Esq. is an attorney licensed to practice law in New York, New Jersey and
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