GOP Senators Go to Work on Immigration

GOP Senators Go to Work on Immigration
  • There are approximately 1.2 million pending immigration cases.
  • In August 2019, there were roughly 1 million deportation cases pending.
  • Texas and California have the largest backlogs. 
  • There are more than 60 immigration courts across the US.

( – The immigration backlog has quadrupled over the last decade, according to the Migration Policy Institute (MPI). It’s one of the toughest challenges judges face, and it’s not getting any better. According to an October 2019 report by MPI, a new case sits on the docket for an average of 700 days.

The most obvious reason for the delays is there just aren’t enough judges to handle all of the cases that land on their desks. The removal process is complicated and there are only 63 courts that handle them. According to Trac Immigration, a nonpartisan organization that tracks data, more than 400 judges had an active caseload of over 2,300 scheduled cases each, in 2019.

Two Republican senators are now taking steps to tackle this enormous issue.

Ending the Backlog

On August 5, Senators Tom Cotton (R-AR) and Kelly Loeffler (R-GA) introduced the Immigration Court Efficiency (ICE) Act to reduce and eliminate the backlog. The legislation would allow immigration judges, who are overseen by the Department of Justice (DOJ), to hold aliens in contempt and issue arrest warrants if they miss a court date. The bill would also make the illegal inadmissible, so they wouldn’t be allowed to stay in the US.

In a statement, Loeffler blamed Democrats for the backlog and said her bill will empower “immigration judges to expedite cases” and “ensure justice is swift.” Cotton explained the legislation is going to make the system more efficient.

At the end of the day, isn’t that what we all want? Illegal immigrants should be sent back to their countries as quickly as possible. If implemented, it looks like this bill could make that happen.

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