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The Justice Department said Wednesday that the immigration court backlog significantly jumped in the last 18 months, in large part because the Trump administration is returning many of the cases the Obama administration ignored back into active status.
The department’s Executive Office of Immigration Review released data Wednesday evening that shows it had 697,777 asylum cases on the docket as of March 31, the halfway point of fiscal year 2018.
That’s a steep increase from the 519,053 active asylum cases at the end of 2016, a number that grew 25 percent by the end of 2017.
The article goes on to state the following:
A number of factors contributed to the jump in backlogged cases, including an uptick in the number of migrants who traveled to the southwest border and filed for asylum from the end of the 2016 presidential election.
But a Justice Department spokesperson said the biggest factor was a decision by the Trump administration to end an Obama administration policy related to how asylum requests were processed.
Once a person arrives at the border or is apprehended by law enforcement, he or she can claim credible fear about returning home. That person will be turned over by U.S. Customs and Border Protection, a DHS agency, to the Justice Department’s U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, which handles the individual’s legal case.
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