Judges letting undocumented immigrants remain in the US

Immigration judges are denying 57% of attempts by the Department of Homeland Security to deport undocumented immigrants. This is according to a new report from the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse, the non-profit organization based at Syracuse University. Immigration judges have allowed 96,233 undocumented immigrants, including some criminal immigrants, to return to American communities so far in the 2016 fiscal year.

Last year, deportation requests for 106,676 undocumented immigrants were denied by immigration judges. This year seems set to exceed that number if the current figures continue. The Center for Immigration Studies policy director, Jessica Vaughan, says she is concerned that immigration courts are becoming a backdoor route for undocumented immigrants to get a green card, and that they are being given them solely because of the length of time they have spent in the US, despite having come to the country illegally.

With 500,000 cases still pending in the immigration backlog, many judges appear to be leaning towards leniency and are allowing undocumented immigrants to remain in the country rather than issuing deportation orders, which clog up the immigration courts with more appeals.

The Federation for American Immigration Reform spokesman, Ira Mehlman, says that judges feel it is easier to allow most undocumented immigrants to remain, as there seem to be endless routes for appealing deportation orders. The longer a case goes on, the higher the likelihood that the immigrant will be allowed to stay anyway.