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Some immigrants will have court date pushed back

Immigrants facing court dates regarding their immigration status are in a stressful situation. The uncertainty these individuals likely feel about their future is something that some would like to address sooner rather than later. For some immigrants in the Miami area, that date may be pushed out several years.

This is because the Justice Department recently started sending out notices to thousands (possibly tens of thousands) of immigrants letting them know that it will be close to five years before their case is heard. The individuals are being assigned court dates that are far into the future--after Thanksgiving in 2019. The cases being pushed off are described as nonpriority cases or individuals who are not in detention.

The reason for the drastic change is a great backlog in immigration cases. That backlog was further hampered by the large number of juveniles who entered the United States last summer. At that time the Obama administration decide to give priority to urgent cases, families and the unaccompanied minors.

Whether the court dates will actually be pushed off to November 2019 remains to be seen. While immigrants wait it could be a good idea to meet with an immigration lawyer. Immigration laws are seemingly always in flux. That makes it difficult for those who are not experts in the field to know how to proceed. An immigration attorney may be able to find ways for the immigrant to remain in the U.S. That would likely be the best possible outcome for those individuals.

Source: The Wall Street Journal, "U.S. Delays Thousands of Immigration Hearings by Nearly 5 Years," Devlin Barrett, Jan. 28, 2015

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