Bloggings on Immigration Law


Danielle Beach-Oswald

TRAC Data Indicates Growing Backlogs in Immigration Courts

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) continues to experience backlog in
its data system. Government enforcement data obtained from the Transactional
Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC) indicates that the current number of
pending cases is up 23 percent, which is 82 percent higher than in the past

Considering the potential problems the backlog creates, one questions why
this is happening.  The main reasons include: the Justice Department’s
inability to hire an adequate number of new judges and the simple growth of
incoming cases.  While new judges are being hired, unfortunately the new
hires are not keeping up with the turnover.  Prior vacancies and existing
budget cuts do not help the situation.  Across the board, states are facing
different circumstances depending on internal local dynamics.  As pending
cases are rising on the national level, some states are fortunate to be
facing declines. Not only do wait times vary, but as one court may be losing
judges another may be gaining new ones.  

The TRAC data provides a useful tool to see the exact severity and current
situation by state and even nationality for pending cases.  For example, the
court in Arlington, Virginia currently faces 9,867 pending cases total, of
which 3,064 are of El Salvadoran nationality, a growing ethnicity group in
the region.  In the case of Maryland, it is confronting 5, 074 pending cases
of which 1, 379 are from El Salvador.  When comparing the national level to
that of larger states such as New York, California and Texas, the pending El
Salvadorian national cases in the tri-state Washington D.C. area are
substantially lower.

The TRAC interactive tool allows one to become more familiar with the
immigration process affecting one’s own community, rather than just hearing
about it as some obscure issue reserved for the federal government. 
Furthermore, having such data available for the general public may also serve
to put some pressure on officials to remedy the backlog problem sooner rather
than later.

About The Author

Danielle Beach-Oswald is the current President and Managing Partner of Beach-Oswald Immigration Law Associates in Washington, DC. Ms. Beach utilizes her 19 years of experience in immigration law to help individuals immigrate to the United States for humanitarian reasons. Born in Brussels, Belgium, Ms. Beach has lived in England, Belgium, Italy and Ivory Coast and has traveled extensively to many countries. Ms. Beach advocates for clients from around the world who seek freedom from torture in their country, or who are victims of domestic violence and trafficking. She has also represented her clients at U.S. Consulates in Romania, China, Canada, Mexico, and several African countries. With her extensive experience in family-based and employment-based immigration law Ms. Beach not only assists her clients in obtaining a better standard of living in the United States, she also helps employers obtain professional visas, and petitions for family members. She also handles many complex naturalization issues. Ms. Beach has unique expertise representing clients in immigration matters pending before the Federal District Courts, Circuit Courts, Board of Immigration Appeals and Immigration Courts. She has won over 400 humanitarian cases in the United States. Her firm's website is

The opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the opinion of ILW.COM.