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Thousands of Immigration Hearings Cancelled by the US Court System, Delays until at Least 2019

hearingThe future of thousands of immigrants remains unresolved following the cancellation of cases by the US court system. Due to the delay in hearings, immigration activists fear that many cases might not be cleared until 2019 – or later. The increase in cancellation of court hearings started last summer, heightening the risk of deportation for many immigrants.  Most of the cases involve mothers from Central America who have entered the United States with their children.

Lawyers specializing in immigration law fear that the delay may result in other problems as well. The verdicts of some cases could be affected when the evidence becomes outdated. With so many cancellations, there is also the possibility that witnesses may disappear or relatives sponsoring the individual may die. Unless the cases are cleared in court, basic necessities like green cards and work permits remain unattainable and families will have to wait longer to reunite with their loved ones.

The bulk of the cases are being handled by law firms in Denver, New York, Los Angeles and San Antonio. The Executive Office for Immigration Review recently said that the cases of over 415,000 immigrants are still waiting to be cleared in courts. David Simmons, a reputed immigration lawyer in Denver, said he has never seen so many cancellations during his 30 year career. He added, “There is no manoeuvrability. It’s as if we have no court at all.”

Maximiano Vasquez Guevarra, 34, who is one of Simmons clients, has gone through a very tumultuous period in his life since his case was cancelled. Guevarra, a native of Mexico, illegally entered the United States in 1998 and has been fighting deportation since 2011.  Immigration officials noticed him when he was charged with his second DUI. He is married to an American and is currently living in Denver with their 6 year old daughter.

Guevarra recently won an appeal to become a permanent resident in the US but needs to attend a hearing before an immigration judge one last time. Now that his case has been pulled from the docket, Vasquez can’t leave for Guanajuato to meet his brother, who is dying of kidney failure.

By moving the docket by four years, thousands of immigrants are now being inconvenienced and are fearful for their future. San Antonio lawyer Lance Curtright said, “This is their home, and they don’t know if they are going to be forcibly removed from it. And they are not going to get any resolution on that until 2019.”

If you or someone you know would like legal counsel regarding delays in your case or have another immigration issue you would like to discuss, please contact the immigration attorneys at Lyttle Law Firm in Austin, Texas today. You can also call us directly at 512-215-5225.