For immigrants and their families, it is an important time to be familiar with immigration laws and their enforcement. San Diego and Imperial County immigration courts have sped up processing of cases which has created concerns associated with possible deportations for those that may have legal grounds to remain in the United States and that immigrants may not be receiving due process. Swiftly clearing back logs has led to these concerns.

Three courts decided more cases between February and July this year than last year. Data revealed that processing cases for the three courts is up from between 38 percent and 119 percent with the third court up by 51 percent. The number of cases being processed nationally is also up. The Executive Office for Immigration Review reports that currently 600,000 cases are pending nationally. There is currently a greater number of judges hearing cases in the San Diego region.

Though there is a greater number of judges, their ability to exercise discretion to allow immigrants to remain in the U.S. has been significantly limited. Along with the quicker processing of cases, the number of deportation orders has increased. It is also more difficult to obtain a continuance. Immigrants who have been detained may face greater challenges.

The decisions that are made by immigration courts and judges can have a significant impact on the lives of immigrants and their families. Additionally, immigration law can be especially complex and challenging which is why it is helpful to have trained guidance through the process when facing the concerns and uncertainty associated with the deportation and removal process.

Source: The San Diego Union-Tribune, “Immigration processing speeds up in San Diego area courts,” Kate Morrissey, Aug. 18, 2017