Around 330 immigration judges in the U.S. are processing up to 50 cases per morning session while staring down a backlog of more than 700,000 cases.
The president of the National Association of Immigration Judges, Ashley Tabaddor, laid out those numbers in an interview with NPR on Tuesday. She called for “at least 1,000” more judges to be hired, even though the Department of Justice only has the budget to hire about 100 more, according to CNN.
President Donald Trump tweeted about the case backlog on Monday. Hiring more judges is “not the way to go,” he said. Rather, “people must simply be stopped at the Border [sic],” he tweeted.
"Hiring manythousands of judges, and going through a long and complicated legal process, is not the way to go – will always be disfunctional. People must simply be stopped at the Border and told they cannot come into the U.S. illegally. Children brought back to their country……"
The Department of Justice announced a quota system for immigration judges on March 30. Under the DOJ guidelines, immigration judges must complete a minimum of 700 cases each year. Less than 15 percent of their decisions can be rejected by a higher court. The DOJ wants at least 85 percent of immigrant removal cases closed within three days of the case’s hearing.
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