In our practice, we are constantly faced with clients who are shocked at the length of time it takes for their case to proceed through the immigration court process. As an example, our firm represents an individual whose asylum case has been pending in front of the Phoenix Immigration Court since 2011. But with only four judges on the bench here in Phoenix, as well as the various hearings and steps necessary to be taken before a case can be concluded, this is not an unusual wait. On the one hand, immigration recognizes the unreasonableness in expecting an individual to wait for resolution for 5 years, and so those with pending immigration court cases are permitted to apply for employment authorization cards. On the other hand, however, it is hard to imagine the anxiety and stress that comes from being in a legal limbo for so many years – with no real status, but no ability to leave. Often times, the frustration will lead many to abandon their efforts altogether, leading to long time, and sometimes even permanent, inabilities to return. Even worse is the situation for those who abandon their asylum claims, as they are faced with needing to return to the country they initially fled in fear. What is abundantly clear is that government authorities must work to dislodge this unacceptable backlog, while simultaneously coming up with solutions for more effective implementation.

Court Backlog Plagues the Immigration System

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