The backlog of pending cases awaiting U.S. immigration courts reached a record of half a million this year. According to the Justice Department’s Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR), there are a total of 502,976 immigration applications as of July 31, 2016. This essentially makes two years the average waiting time for an immigration court petitioner.
Half a Million Immigration Cases Waiting to Be Heard
Violence and gang warfare in Central America drove up border crossings in the recent years. From October 2013 to July 2015 alone, an estimated 100,000 unaccompanied minors arrived in the U.S. from Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador. Strict border enforcement has also produced higher number of arrests, which in turn require adjudication.