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Burgeoning Backlog Delays Chicagoland Immigration Cases

Immigrants in Chicago are waiting upwards of four years to appear before a judge thanks to President Donald Trump’s crackdown on asylum seekers, according to a report from a records repository that monitors the American judicial system. Researchers from Syracuse University say that the 1,336-day wait at Chicago’s Immingration Court is has doubled since Trump took office. Across the country, dockets are swelling as the government steps up detentions at the nation’s border crossings and investigations of those already in the US.

The Transactional Records Clearinghouse says that more than a million cases are awaiting adjudication nationwide. At least some of that figure is attributable to a pushback by overburdened judges, who are under threat from government attempts to break their union. In Cook County, advocates succeeded in undercutting the Department of Homeland Security’s plans to alter rules on visa applications. More than 43,000 people are awaiting decisions on their immigration status at the Chicago court, according to TRAC.