The field of immigration law is rife with numerous complications. The need for extensive immigration reform is clear given the scope of the challenges that undocumented immigrants face. One of the areas where immigration reform is needed can be found in the cases that pile up in U.S. immigration court. For immigrants who are trying to legalize their status as U.S. residents, the massive backlog of cases that the U.S. legal system is struggling with is a clear deterrent to their aspirations. The backlog of cases has reached problematic proportions. Worst case scenarios have immigrants with pending cases waiting for resolutions three years after their cases have been filed.
The delays in legal resolutions yield drastic consequences for immigrants. Cases that are stuck in legal limbo can prevent undocumented immigrants from supporting themselves while they wait for a definitive conclusion to their legal woes. While an immigrant waits for a case to go to court, he is not allowed to legally work within the U.S. Without the necessary legal means to look for gainful employment, undocumented immigrants cannot produce an income that looks after their basic needs. Statistically, the state with the most amount of backlog in terms of immigration cases is California. The city of Los Angeles has the most amount of pending cases in the state with San Francisco coming in second.
For immigrants who fear the prospect of deportation, these legal delays add a deeper layer of anxiety. Given the volume of cases that they need to deal with, U.S. immigration judges tend to deal with cases involving deportation with a sense of haste. The tendency for judges to deliver snap judgments could prove to have terrifying consequences for immigrants who fear persecution once they’re deported back to their country of origin. In a very real way, a huge chunk of these immigration cases carry a foreboding sense of death once the verdict of removal is delivered.