Backlogged immigration courts face new deluge

Associated Press
FILE - This June 18, 2014, file photo, U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents work at a processing facility in Brownsville,Texas. Immigration courts backlogged by years of staffing shortages and tougher enforcement face an even more daunting challenge since tens of thousands of Central Americans began arriving on the U.S. border fleeing violence back home. (AP Photo/Eric Gay, Pool, File)
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LOS ANGELES (AP) — Backlogged U.S. immigration courts are bracing for a deluge of cases after tens of thousands of Central American children began arriving on the U.S.-Mexico border.

Lauren Alder Reid, counsel for legislative and public affairs at the U.S. Justice Department's Executive Office for Immigration Review, says the courts have temporarily reassigned judges to hear cases in southern Texas and at a New Mexico detention facility via teleconferencing since the influx.

She could not say how many cases have been postponed, but she expects the surge in immigration will have a significant impact on other immigrants' cases.

The immigration courts are backlogged with more than 375,000 cases, and it can take months or years for immigrants not in detention facilities to get a hearing, let alone a resolution.

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