McALLEN, Texas (Border Report) — There were 123 new immigration judges commissioned in the United States in Fiscal Year 2023 to help handle a backlog of immigration cases that is approaching 3 million, according to a new report.
Of those newly commissioned immigration judges, only 21 handled at least 100 asylum cases their first year, according to a report this week by Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse of Syracuse University, which tracks immigration cases.
“Depending on the court and the docket to which a judge is assigned, it may take years to reach the 100-case threshold,” the report said.
Once they reach that threshold, TRAC evaluates how judge’s rule on asylum cases. And the outcomes vary greatly.
This ranged from a high of 94.8% asylum denial rate by Judge Erica Hughes in Houston; to a low of 1.2% denial rate by Judge Chloe Dillon in San Francisco, TRAC reports.
TRAC produced a record 732 reports on U.S. immigration judges activities in Fiscal Year 2023 — that’s up from the nonprofit’s first report in 1994 when there were just 193 judges.
Several of the new immigration judges were added to courts in towns along the Southwest border including two in Harlingen, Texas; one in Laredo; one in El Paso; and one in Imperial, California.
The most — 11 new immigration judges — were added in New York, which also is the location where thousands of migrants have been bused from Texas by Republican Gov. Greg Abbott’s Operation Lone Star border security initiative.
The current backlog of immigration cases is almost 2.8 million. There were over 1.4 million new cases added in Fiscal 2023, according to TRAC.
Miami-Date County, Florida, has the most pending immigration deportation cases — over 120,000; followed by Los Angeles County with 88,000.
Sandra Sanchez can be reached at SSanchez@BorderReport.com.