Immigration courts already have their highest caseload ever, with more than 375,000 awaiting resolution, according to new data released Thursday, just as the Obama administration is adding tens of thousands more cases to the workload from the surge of illegal immigrant children across the border.
The average length of a case before the courts is also up to 587 days, according to the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse, which monitors court records and proceedings.
“Preliminary figures indicate that the number of cases involving juveniles has climbed to 41,640, with more arriving daily,” TRAC’s directors said in a memo announcing the latest data.
As of June 30 there were 12,841 cases pending from Guatemala, 12,696 from Honduras and 12,162 from El Salvador — the three countries blamed for the surge of children.
After holding relatively steady for most of the Bush administration, the backlog has nearly doubled under President Obama, from 186,108 cases still pending in September 2008 to 375,503 cases now.