The Trump administration’s controversial plan to shrink the ballooning backlog of immigration cases by pushing judges to hear more cases has failed, according to the latest data, with the average wait for an immigration hearing now more than two years, The San Diego Union-Tribune reports.
Since October 2017, when the Justice Department approved a plan aimed at reducing the backlog in immigration court, the pending caseload has grown by more than 26 percent, from 655,932 cases to just shy of 830,000, according to Syracuse University’s Transactional Access Records Clearinghouse, which tracks data from immigration courts. Even that figure likely understates the backlog because it doesn’t include the impact of the 35-day government shutdown in December and January. Because the system’s roughly 400 immigration judges were furloughed during the shutdown, some 60,000 hearings were canceled. Thousands were rescheduled, adding to the already long wait times.