A dozen cities with high populations of illegal immigrants who have been charged with crimes will soon be assigned new temporary immigration judges in an effort to speed up the deportation process, according to a report from Reuters on Saturday.
Research shows that there are currently 18,013 pending immigration cases involving undocumented immigrants facing or convicted of criminal charges.
It’s unknown how many judges will be reassigned and exactly when they will be sent, however, the Justice Department has started asking for volunteers to go to the following cities:
- New York
- Los Angeles
- New Orleans
- San Francisco
- Bloomington, Minnesota
- El Paso, Texas
- Harlingen, Texas
- Imperial, California
- Omaha, Nebraska
According to the report, the request came from the Department of Homeland Security, which is unusual because immigration courts are typically administered by the Department of Justice.
Under an executive order signed by President Trump in January, illegal immigrants with pending criminal cases have been identified as priorities for deportation, regardless of whether or not they have been found guilty.
Former President Barack Obama’s prioritized deportations only for those illegal aliens who had been convicted of serious crimes.
More than 200 of the thousands of cases involve currently incarcerated immigrants, which means that the others have either not been convicted or have served their sentence, said the report. However, there was no breakdown showing how many of the remainder of cases have been convicted and how many are awaiting trial.
Beginning on Monday, the Justice Department will start sending immigration judges to temporarily deploy to detention centers situated along the southwest border.
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