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Will Trump's call for hiring new immigration judges help with the backlog?

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The DOJ said an overwhelming amount of federal resources go to immigration crime

WATCH | President Trump's request for 75 new immigration judges could ease the immigration backlog. 

If you feel overworked, consider this: In 2008, each of the 226 immigration judges, on average, issued 1,014 decisions. In total, that amounted to 229,316 decisions. 

President Trump's push for stricter enforcement of immigration laws means these judges could be in for even more work. To help ease the burden, Trump requested money for 75 new immigration judges in his latest budget

There is currently a backlog of more than 534,000 immigration cases. On average, it takes cases just shy of two years to be completed, but in some states, like New York, it takes longer. 

Experts doubt that 75 new judges would have a significant impact on the backlog. 

"I think it's a good sign to be calling for more judges," Georgetown Law professor Andrew Schoenholtz told Circa. "Seventy-five judges won't make that much of a dent."

It would be impossible for the new judges to get to work right away. First, the money for new judges needs to be appropriated by Congress, which takes time -- and there is always the risk Congress decides against it. 

Then, if the money is provided, the judges need to be hired, and that doesn't happen overnight. “To get 75 new on board may take six months, a year," Schoenholtz said -- and that's after the money becomes available. 


A quicker solution? Schoenholz advocates separating out certain cases from the backlog. 

“Many of the cases at this point involved people, in recent years, who come from Central America, particularly women and children," he said. "Many of those people are applying for asylum. Now rather than have the immigration judges be the first ones to hear those cases, I and others have recommended that they turn to the asylum officers, and US Citizen and Immigration Services to do that.”

But not everyone agrees that speeding up the process will solve the backlog, instead they think you have to get to the root of the problem. 

“These people who are affected, who have really strong ties to this country," Ruben Reyes Chair of the Arizona American Immigration Lawyers Association told Circa. "So I think, what the best answer is Immigration Reform.”


For now neither seems to be in the cards, so this backlog might get worse before it gets better.


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