Immigration Court Backlog Due To DOJ Understaffing, Says Government Accountability Office | Eastern North Carolina Now

The millions in backlogged immigration cases are due to understaffing by the Department of Justice (DOJ), according to the Government Accountability Office (GAO).

    Publisher's Note: This post appears here courtesy of the The Daily Wire. The author of this post is Corinne Murdock.

    The millions in backlogged immigration cases are due to understaffing by the Department of Justice (DOJ), according to the Government Accountability Office (GAO).

    The GAO reported in a post on Thursday that the DOJ's Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) had neglected to implement a strategic workforce plan for years, resulting in a sizable backlog further compounded by the ongoing border crisis.

    The GAO warned the EOIR back in a 2017 report that it would face long-standing workforce management challenges due to not having a strategic workforce plan. The current case backlog - over 2.6 million - is around five times greater than it was in 2017.

    However, that number is likely an undercount of illegal immigrants. Rebecca Gambler, director of GAO Homeland Security and Justice, testified to the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday that their counts only reflect those entered into the immigration court system.


    "For individuals who have not yet reported to an ICE office or for whom ICE has not yet issued a Notice To Appear, they have not been charged and thus are not in immigration proceedings," said Gambler.

    In an April follow-up report, the GAO discovered that the EOIR still had not developed a strategic workforce plan or set workforce planning goals. The GAO also noted that the EOIR didn't have a governance structure for guidance or leadership accountability regarding progress on workforce goals.

    "Even though EOIR was continuing to see growing backlogs, we found that it had still not developed a strategic workforce plan or set workforce planning goals, as we had previously recommended," stated GAO.

    The GAO found that the EOIR last had an agency-wide strategic workforce plan in 2013.

    Gambler further shared in her testimony on Wednesday that EOIR officials were developing a strategic workforce plan, but had not yet offered a timeline for its completion.

    "A strategic workforce plan also helps an agency be positioned, then, to speak to Congress about what the resource needs are and how the agency will go about meeting those resource needs," said Gambler.

    Of the six recommendations issued by the GAO in April, EOIR hasn't taken any responsive actions.

    Gambler also revealed that EOIR hasn't evaluated its judge appraisal program, and that immigration judges have expressed numerous concerns with the program's feasibility and efficiency.

    Efficiency was also a concern raised by court staff regarding EOIR's electronic filing system, which contains tools for reviewing case information and issuing decisions. Gambler relayed complaints of outages and delays, and noted that EOIR lacked a regular review process for the e-filing system to ensure smooth operations.

    According to Syracuse University's Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC), there were about 607,000 cases closed by immigration courts as of August. Judges issued removal and voluntary departure orders for about 39 percent of those cases.


    TRAC reported about 35,300 individuals held in Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detention as of September. Over 194,600 were held in ICE Alternatives to Detention (ATD) programs, with San Francisco, California, having the highest number in the programs.

Should the Institutionalized Corruption of the Biden /Harris Administration, in this separate instance the Open Border Policy of our Sovereign Southern Border, be not only tolerated, but sanctioned by the raising of local spending by local politicians to pay for these now visible and known effects of rampant, and out-of-control Illegal Immigration?
  Yes, it is a kind thing to do, and a way that our county, our state can aid in this tremendous effort toward local federal foreign aid; and now, thankfully, in great abundance.
  No, our Constitutional Republic WILL NOT continue to exist, as our United States of America, if we do not control our sovereign borders, to protect our citizens, to keep them solvent and safe.
  I only consider what is topical and popular since my friends, too, only care to do the same.
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