Stepped-up immigration enforcement is overloading U.S. immigration courts and undermining the ability of judges to rule fairly because they are under growing pressure to decide cases quickly, experts tell the Arizona Republic. The flood of cases is creating backlogs that may take years for judges to decide whether immigrants facing deportation can legally stay in the U.S
The long waits could aid some immigrants with weak cases who hope immigration reform arrives arrives before their hearings do, for many others the delays also can hurt their cases. A witness could move, or a family member with ties to the U.S. could die. The consequences aren’t so simple as just being forced to return to their home country. Deported migrants can be separated from wives and children in the U.S. Those denied asylum could face persecution, torture or even death.