Immigration cases are backlogged in California and all across the country. In fact, the average time to resolve an immigration case in the U.S. is almost four years. Waiting on an important decision is stressful or families, but some government officials argue that this wait time actually increases immigration.
Government immigration officials are looking for ways to speed through immigration cases in order to deter migrants from crossing the border. The reasoning is that migrants will be less likely to cross the border if they know that they will be sent home quickly. Right now, there is a backlog of over 1.4 million immigration cases, so asylum seekers usually get at least a few years to live in the U.S. even if they are ultimately sent home.
Fast-track docket for immigrant families
Similar to the Obama and Trump administrations before, the Biden administration has set up an expedited docket for family immigration cases. Around 35 of the country’s immigration judges have been tasked with ruling on tens of thousands of immigration cases in major cities across the country. The court process involves the same steps as a typical immigration case but on a fast-tracked timeline.
Fast-tracked immigration cases may not be fair
Immigrant families, particularly asylum seekers, can have a hard time gathering the resources that they need to build their case and secure an immigration attorney. Language barriers and a lack of understanding of U.S. immigration laws can make it nearly impossible for some asylum seekers to have a fair shot. When an immigration case is fast-tracked, asylum seekers can have an even harder time preparing their cases.