The ripple effect of President Joe Biden’s open border crisis policies has led experts to decry the “man-made disaster of historic proportions” as the backlog in immigration court surpassed 2 million for the first time ever.
While the record number of illegal alien encounters has been well documented, despite claims from the administration that the border is not open, less fanfare has been given to the compounding crisis in the courts. According to recent Syracuse University’s Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC) reports, at the end of November 2022, there were 2,023,441 pending immigration cases, up from 1,262,765 at the end of fiscal year 2020. Fox News reported that almost 800,000 people are waiting on asylum hearings.
Former Border Patrol Chief Rodney Scott, who served Border Patrol from 1992, became chief under former President Donald Trump and was “given the option to resign, retire or relocate,” by the Biden administration in June 2021.
“Several factors have contributed to this backlog, but the massive increase that we’re seeing today can be directly attributed to the Biden administration’s border and immigration policies,” he told Just the News.
“When the Biden administration went against the recommendations of experienced career border security professionals, terminated the Migrant Protection Protocols,” better known as the Remain in Mexico policy, “canceled the Asylum Cooperative Agreements,” negotiated with Central American countries to limit fraudulent claims, “and lowered the bar for credible fear determinations they sent a message worldwide and opened the flood gates for anyone that could make up a sad story or recite the one that was provided to them by the cartel and so-called migrant aid organizations operating in Mexico,” Scott explained.
Now, the nearly 1.6 million asylum cases that make up the 2 million immigration cases, split roughly in half between the Justice Department’s Immigration Courts and the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) asylum officers, are expected to wait an average of 1,572 days each to be heard, otherwise stated as 4.3 years.
Putting it another way, less than 40,000 families had asylum hearings in fiscal year 2022 and of those only 2,894 were granted such. That represents just 7.4 percent of the cases completed even after Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas announced a Dedicated Docket in May 2021.
“Families who have recently arrived should not languish in a multi-year backlog; today’s announcement is an important step for both justice and border security,” the DHS secretary said at the time.
Of course, the plan which had been criticized for lacking due process, also only applied to newly arriving families and did nothing to manage the existing backlog while thinning out the number of available judges to hear cases on the general docket.
Furthermore, such a ploy had been attempted before under Trump and former President Barack Obama to no avail and, worth noting, according to TRAC the backlog was only just over 100,000 at the end of fiscal year 2012.
As Simon Hankinson, a senior research fellow at the Heritage Foundation told Just the News, the Biden administration “undid everything Trump did for largely political reasons. Biden and Mayorkas have super-charged an already vulnerable system by allowing in at least half the illegal migrants either apprehended at the border or who give themselves up at legal ports of entry. They process them quickly by taking their basic info, [give] them parole (an abuse of the statute’s intent) by the hundreds of thousands, and let them into the country to await a process which was taking years to run through even before the current wave…It’s a man-made disaster of historic proportions.”
Scott concluded similarly when he stated, “While Congress owns the blame for leaving known loopholes in our immigration and asylum laws unaddressed, the massive increase in illegal border crossings and associated asylum claims falls squarely on the Biden administration and is a direct result of their failed policies.”
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