Via the Associated Press:

The backlog in the federal immigration court system has eclipsed half a million pending cases, The Associated Press has learned.

The Justice Department's Executive Office for Immigration Review said Wednesday there are now 500,051 pending immigration cases in the agency's courts.

The backlog has been steadily rising in recent years as the number of unaccompanied children and people traveling as families have been caught crossing the Mexican border illegally. Since 2011 more than 200,000 cases have been added to the court's docket and backlog is likely to continue growing.

More than 51,000 people traveling as families and more than 43,000 unaccompanied children, mostly from Honduras, El Salvador or Guatemala, have been caught crossing the border illegally since the start of the budget year in October.

Click here for TRAC Immigration's backlog chart.