The partial government shutdown has had a massive effect on the operations of various state departments, and the judiciary has not been spared. It is reported that almost 43,000 cases involving immigrants have been canceled because of the shutdown, and the number could go higher.
These cancellations have raised a lot of concerns from analysts who say that there is an already backlogged system and therefore, freezing it further could lead to a crisis. Researchers that have been tracking immigration data discovered these huge cancellations and brought it to the limelight thus sparking a lot of public discussions about the implications of the situation.
More cases to be canceled
Apart from the cases that have been withdrawn, the researchers say that there will be 20,000 more cases canceled every week for the remainder of the period that the government will be shut down. According to the report, if the shutdown continues until the end of January, more than 100,000 individuals will be affected when their cases are postponed.
Already, the cases that were scheduled for hearing between, 24th of December and 11th of January have been postponed. The CNBC report goes further to suggest that the individuals that have been impacted by the cancellations have been waiting for up to four years to have their day in court.
Rescheduled hearing of the cases
The researchers also analyzed the likely effect of the situation and found out that the individuals whose cases have been canceled will now have to wait for more than three years for the cases to be rescheduled. Considering the time that they have already spent waiting, there is no doubt that this will be a traumatizing experience for them unless something out of the ordinary happens.
According to the White House, Congress has received a request from the White House to allocate funds to 75 new immigration judges. This, they say, will clear the backlog that has been growing steadily over the last five years.
Observers say that even if the new judges were hired after approval by Congress, the backlog is still too massive. The approval is still a matter of doubt because there is a stalemate over the immigration policy in the country. The cases going on during the shutdown are few, and therefore, those that are not heard are added to the current case backlog every week. The cases being added to this category are too many, yet there already were more than 800,000 cases on the backlog by the end of November 2018.