The U.S. Immigration Court in Bloomington faces a backlog of up to 3,000 cases. Nationwide, there are more than 350,000 cases in the immigration justice system.
From a Star Tribune report:
Immigration attorneys and advocacy groups say the backlog is a consequence of the federal government's decision to increase enforcement without adding resources to the immigration courts. The end of a recent hiring freeze on immigration judges may ease the problem, but for now the price is being paid by taxpayers as well as by those whose lives are on hold.
"The cost of trying to remove these people through the legal process is just staggering," said Joe Dierkes, who recently retired as a judge from the Bloomington court after 11 years on the bench. "I laugh when people say, 'Just deport them.' I always ask, 'Are you willing to pay for it?'"
John Keller, executive director of the Immigration Law Center of Minnesota, joins The Daily Circuit to discuss why this backlog is so big. What are the financial and emotional costs?