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Immigration court backlog increases with government shutdown

The immigration system, with courts located in Florida and throughout the United States, is notorious for extensive backlogs. Since the government shutdown that began in late 2018 started, the problem has only become worse. Court backlogs are growing by approximately 20,000 cases per week, and more than 40,000 hearings have been cancelled according to the Transaction Records Access Clearinghouse.

Many of the individuals who are affected by this shutdown have already been waiting for their day in immigration court for months or years. Whether having to wait even longer is good or bad news depends on each person's unique position. Many may benefit from not having their cases heard until the next presidential election, but others may face incarceration from aggressive enforcement agents who push to arrest undocumented individuals.

Reports show that the White House was caught off guard about the results the federal shutdown has had on the immigration system and many other public services. President Trump has promised to speed up and streamline the immigration process, but the opposite continues to occur. Immigration backlogs grew even before the government shutdown, but lack of funds has only accelerated the problem. At the same time, the rate of new cases has slowed down in the last few years.

Individuals dealing with an issue related to immigration law may benefit from the representation of an attorney. Due to the complexities of the immigration system in the United States, going to court alone can be a huge disadvantage. For migrants waiting a long time for their day in court, getting advice from an attorney may help answer some complicated questions.

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