Local immigration cases backlogged due to the shutdown

January 29, 2019 by admin

By: Josh Navarro
Posted: Jan 29, 2019 05:58 PM EST
Updated: Jan 29, 2019 06:00 PM EST


About 800,000 immigration cases have been delayed nationally due to the government shutdown including hundreds of them here in the Rochester area. Even though the government is back open, many of those cases may have to wait longer now to head to court.

Immigration attorney many undocumented immigrants may have to wait up to a year or more to have their cases heard.

“It’s like a domino effect,” said José Pérez, immigration attorney. “These delays don’t help anybody, they don’t help the immigrants they don’t help my office, don’t help the government.”

Pérez said the only cases being presented during the shutdown were those who were recently detained or have been incarcerated. All the other cases such as asylum claims, voluntary departure or refugees status hearings were all suspended during the shutdown.

According to Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse or TRAC at Syracuse University, the state of New York is second highest number in the nation of people impacted by cancellations. A whopping 5,320. In Monroe and the surrounding counties, there’s well over 100 backlogged cases.

“Many of the clients that have immigration court hearings scheduled they want to know, what’s the decision, they want to know what’s going to be the outcome,” said Pérez.

They won’t get up to speed in court proceedings, especially when another government shutdown may be looming overhead.

“Having an argument that we should shutdown the government to have a wall but at the same time shutting down immigration courts while the policy of the government is to try to remove as efficient as possible these people you see there’s a contradiction in of itself,” said Pérez.

Pérez suggests to make sure people who have pending cases, communicate with your attorney for any new developments.

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