More than 40,000 Immigration Court Hearings Canceled Since Government Shutdown

From [Jurist] The Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC) of Syracuse University reported on Monday that 42,726 scheduled immigration court hearings had been canceled throughout the US as of January 11 due to the government shutdown.

The largest number of cases comes from California, with 9,424 cases canceled. New York has canceled 5,320 cases, and Texas has canceled 5,141 cases. If the shutdown continues until February 1, the total number of cancelled cases will reach about 108,112. If the shutdown continues until March 1, that number will increase to 185,071. The number will increase by roughly 20,000 cases per week as the shutdown progresses.

The cancellations add to the already large backlog of immigration cases before the court. As of the end of November, there was a backlog of 809,041 cases. It may take three or four years before canceled cases can be rescheduled.

Several organizations have filed lawsuits against the Trump administration due to the partial government shutdown that began December 22, mostly over the requirement to continue working without pay. This includes air traffic controllers and National Treasury Employees Union in January, and the American Federation of Government Employees in December. The center of the shutdown is the debate over the allocation of $5.7 billion for a border wall along the southern border of the US.