May 2, 2005


Immigrant Pleas Crushing Federal Appellate Courts: As caseloads skyrocket, judges blame the work done by the Board of Immigration Appeals. (Solomon Moore and Ann M. Simmons, May 2, 2005, LA Times)

Immigrants fighting to stay in the United States are flooding the federal appellate courts with cases, creating huge backlogs and fundamentally changing the character of the second-highest courts in the nation.

The deluge reflects growing dissatisfaction with the nation's immigration courts, and attorneys representing asylum-seekers and others say they have little choice but to appeal to the federal judiciary.

The trend is nationwide, federal records show, but bearing the brunt of this sudden surge is the San Francisco-based U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. In the year ending June 30, 2001, the immigration caseload was 965. It skyrocketed to 4,835 cases in the year ending in June 2004.

"Three years ago, immigration cases were 8% of our calendar," said 9th Circuit Judge Michael Daly Hawkins. "Today, as we speak, that percentage is 48%."

When the 9th is shut down by trivial cases the Republic is a safer place.

Posted by Orrin Judd at May 2, 2005 7:24 AM
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