U.S. Senator John McCain condemned Senate Democrats, who under the leadership of Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), continue to block legislation that would enable the hiring of new immigration judges.
McCain says the judges are critically needed.
The Los Angeles Times recently reported that the shortage in immigration judges and the backlog of immigration-related cases may intensify as more than half of today’s judges are eligible to retire this fiscal year while other judges are burning-out faster under a growing number of cases.
“I am deeply concerned by this report, which makes clear that the severe shortage in immigration judges is about to get much worse as judges increasingly retire and burn-out faster under a crushing accumulation of cases. According to the Los Angeles Times, less than 250 immigration judges today are responsible for more than 450,000 immigration-related cases – a backlog that has more than doubled in the last decade and which will continue to grow as more illegal immigrants cross our insecure borders. We cannot hope to keep dangerous individuals off the streets or swiftly prosecute and deport those who enter our country illegally if we do not have the resources to handle this ever-growing volume of cases,” said McCain in a statement issued this week.
“Despite this clear crisis, Senate Democrats led by Minority Leader Harry Reid continue to block meaningful legislation that would enable us to hire new immigration judges that are critically needed today. In fact, the Minority Leader has continued to hold hostage the Senate Commerce, Justice & Science Appropriations Bill, and all other appropriations bills, which would include a programmatic increase of $60 million and add 55 new Immigration Judge Teams. This increase would allow the Justice Department’s Executive Office for Immigration Review to better coordinate with the Department of Homeland Security to more effectively enforce immigration laws and help adjudicate the rapidly growing caseload. It is simply irresponsible for Democrats to hold up this commonsense solution that would provide our justice system the resources it needs to speed up deportation proceedings and keep our communities safe,” concluded McCain.