Rep. Cuellar: 100 new immigration judge teams included in new budget bill

Included in the massive congressional budget bill is a provision for the hiring of at least 100 new immigration judge teams, according to Rep. Henry Cuellar.

The immigration teams include judges, support staff, technology and work space, according to the Laredo lawmaker.

The additional immigration judges are being added to address a backlog of 667,000 pending cases, almost half of which are asylum claims, Cuellar said. There is also language in the bill directing new judges to border regions with the highest workloads.

“Increasing the number of judges to process immigration cases is a common sense solution that should appeal to everyone, no matter how you feel about immigration policy,” Cuellar said. “Our immigration courts are in dire need of additional judges to expeditiously adjudicate these cases.”

Other provisions in the budget bill will address delays in the review of immigration cases that can drag on for years, Cuellar said. Included are $35 million for justice information sharing technology and $504.5 million for the Executive Office for Immigration Review which will be used to accelerate the hiring process for new judges.

The 100 new judge teams in the 2018 budget are in addition to 10 new judges added in the 2017 budget and 55 added in the 2016 budget.