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Why Is Florida’s Immigration Court Backlog Higher Than Other States?

On Behalf of | Feb 28, 2024 | Immigration Law

Being in the country legally is a dream for thousands of foreign nationals looking to make the United States their home. And for those who have submitted the paperwork or are dealing with immigration-related court cases, every day that passes without their case’s resolution can be stressful. 

There is a general backlog in the resolution of immigration-related cases throughout the U.S., and nowhere are the numbers staggering like Florida. Out of the three million cases, nearly 500,000 are domiciled in the Sunshine State. But how did this happen?

Causes of immigration courts backlog

Obviously, there is always the possibility of a foreign national presenting themselves at the border and seeking asylum. However, many more come through the borders as undocumented migrants. 

Several factors come into play when establishing how the backlog happened. First is the growing number of individuals who are seeking or appealing their asylum cases. Add to these cases that have been carried forward from previous years, especially during the pandemic when nothing much was happening, and things aren’t any better. 

Lack of funding is another major issue. Shortfalls in the immigration budget have considerably impacted work permits and permanent resident petitions. For instance, the USCIS does not have enough workers to clear the backlog. 

Complicated forms like the Venezuelan Temporary Protected Status (TPS) are another issue. Venezuelans in Florida have separate filing addresses, and this too is resulting in a backlog. 

The U.S. immigration system is quite complicated. Furthermore, states have very limited control over how fast immigration courts can resolve cases. After all, this is a function of the Department of Justice.