U.S. Markets closed

Daily Digit: U.S. immigration judges have an impossible workload

Sam Matthews

Daily Digit is the story behind the numbers that make our world work. Today we’re looking at the near-impossible workload faced by U.S. immigration judges. As of July 1, there were only 319 judges listed as being tasked with hearing immigration cases, according to the Department of Justice website, despite previous claims from President Trump that there were “thousands of judges” in those roles. In fact, there are only 1,306 judges who hear cases of any type at the federal level. The backlog of immigration cases has risen sharply since 2008, and last year the number of new cases outnumbered cleared cases 2 to 1. While the DOJ has plans to add at least 100 more immigration judges by the end of 2019, the backlog will continue to grow.