AP070209163131 (1)According to at least one Arizona lawyer, the state's immigration courts have received no relief under the federal reclassification of the state's court system as operating under a "judicial emergency."
The emergency status came in the wake of the murder of U.S. Judge John Roll, and it allows judges to delay hearing cases for up to six months, instead of the 30 days normally mandated by law.
Judge Roll was seeking emergency status for his federal judicial district before he was gunned down and killed at Rep. Gabrielle Giffords' Congress on Your Corner event in early January. Rep. Giffords signed Roll's letter to a higher court asking for the emergency status, and he attended the event to thank her in person for her support, The Wall Street Journal reported.
"Judicial resources in the District of Arizona are simply unable to keep pace with this escalating crisis at the border," he wrote in the letter. According to the Los Angeles Times, criminal cases in the district have surged 65 percent in the past two years.
Roll's shooting death finally prompted the federal judiciary to issue the declaration of judicial emergency last month.
But none of this will do anything to help the crisis in the state's immigration courts, which are separate from the federal court system and are staffed with Department of Justice-appointed judges.
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