How Long Does An Immigration Court Case Take?

Good question.

The best answer: It varies.

Some cases move fast. Some cases move slower.

Most immigration judges would like to speed things up.

It is not always possible.

Recent Immigration Court Delays

Earlier this year, immigration courts suffered an extended period without its computer system. Several of its’ servers crashed, causing many deportation defense cases to be delayed several months.

Of course, the reasons for the crash were never revealed to the public.

In fact, the reasons were not disclosed to immigration attorneys.

I found out at court. I was representing one of my San Diego immigration clients. The judge took the bench, and said all cases would be continued to another day due to a minor glitch.

The next week, I received notice of a new hearing date. In early 2016. A two year wait.

Now, we have been told more delays are on the way.

Government priorities in the immigration courts have been reordered to address the current Central American refugee border situation, setting as its top priority the adjudication of cases that fall into the following four groups:

a. Unaccompanied children

b. Adults with children in detention

c. Adults with children released on “alternatives to detention”

d. Other individuals in detention.

In other words, if you have a deportation defense case, do not expect a quick finish.


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