Judge’s Transfer to Harlingen to Help Reduce Immigration Caseload
HARLINGEN - A new immigration judge will be temporarily transferred to Harlingen to help cut down on caseloads. The U.S. Justice Department announced the news on Friday. It’s part of an effort to put President Trump's immigration directives into effect.
The transfer is one of four in Texas, in addition to one each in Louisiana and New Mexico. The department's executive office for immigration review said the transfers will happen today. Judges were previously moved to two immigration detention centers in California.
Trump's executive order on border and immigration enforcement in January stated judges should immediately be assigned to immigration detention centers. Many judges work in courts where immigrants are freed before their cases are heard.
There was a backlog of more than 542,000 cases at the end of January, including more than 20,000 people who were being held in custody. The president's budget proposal for the 2018 fiscal year released Thursday calls for a 19-percent increase in immigration judges to 449 positions.