Trump’s Shutdown Explodes the Immigration Court Backlog

Written by SK Ashby

If the Trump regime's ultimate goal is to remove as many immigrants from the country as possible in a timely manner, the government shutdown engineered by Donald Trump is not doing them any favors.

Over 700,000 immigration cases were already backlogged and Trump's shutdown is adding up to 20,000 to that number every week for a total of nearly 60,000 by the end of this week or more than 100,000 if the shutdown continues beyond that.

Some 42,726 immigration court hearings have been cancelled since Trump withdrew his support for a government funding bill in late December, according to the Transaction Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC). [...]

Roughly 5,600 cases were dumped to the back of the line in the first four days after government funding ran out. By the end of the following week, the total had tripled. Last week — the third of Trump’s shutdown — the total nearly tripled again.

TRAC forecasts that the rate of case cancellations has now stabilized. If the shutdown continues through the end of this month, some 108,112 total immigration cases will have been knocked off the schedule in just five calendar weeks.

While this is taking place, Border Patrol agents are also working without pay and one would guess they may not be as diligent on the duty when they aren't earning anything for it.

All things considered -- including the possibility that over 100,000 immigrants will remain in the country because their court dates were canceled -- it seems plausible to me that Trump's government shutdown will result in more immigrants remaining in the country than his fantasy border wall would ever keep out.

Unfortunately, I don't think we can say this is a strictly good or bad thing, because while some immigrants will be granted a reprieve from deportation, just as many could face longer stretches in indefinite detention as a result.