AP NEWS

Cuellar secures funding for 65 new immigration judges

July 13, 2017 GMT

With a half-million immigration cases remaining backlogged in the United States, funding is anticipated for 65 new immigration judges this week, according to Rep. Henry Cuellar. An official announcement is expected today.

Cuellar, D-Laredo, has helped fund over 50 immigration judges in the last two years, but only 15 of those positions have been filled. The funding Cuellar secured in the Fiscal Year 2018 budget includes language to expedite the hiring process, he said.

“There’s a timeline as to how long they hire people,” Cuellar said. “But it’s just taking too long. We need to get these judges through quicker so we can help all these cases.”

While many associate the border with immigration, there are immigration judges based all over the country. Cuellar said he also included language in the bill to recommend the judges be sent to the border region.

The bill sets a goal for immigration cases to be processed in 60 days if an individual is detained and in 365 days if a migrant is not being detained, Cuellar said. The average case length can range from 70 days to 665 days. There are currently 449 judges in the country, he added.

“It doesn’t matter your position on immigration or immigration reform,” Cuellar said. “I think this process will help everyone involved.”

mferman@themonitor.com