Government Shutdown Closes Some Chicago Immigration Courts

immigration court
In this July 2015, file photo, immigrants from El Salvador who entered the country illegally walk through a bus after they were released from a family detention center in San Antonio. Eric Gay / Associated Press
immigration court
In this July 2015, file photo, immigrants from El Salvador who entered the country illegally walk through a bus after they were released from a family detention center in San Antonio. Eric Gay / Associated Press

Government Shutdown Closes Some Chicago Immigration Courts

Cases can sometimes take years to work through Chicago’s immigration courts, and the partial federal government shutdown is exacerbating that problem.

A long wait is not out of the ordinary. After all, the backlog of cases nationwide eclipsed the 1 million mark in 2018, which is an all-time high.

An immigration judge who spoke to WBEZ described the state of affairs as “a crushing load.”

Morning Shift talks with an immigration lawyer and WBEZ’s Maria Zamudio about how immigration courts work and how the shutdown is affecting the process.  

GUESTS: Mony Ruiz-Velasco, executive director of West Suburban Action Project (PASO)

Maria Ines Zamudio, WBEZ immigration reporter

LEARN MORE: Despite Huge Backlogs, The Government Shutdown Halts Most Immigration Court Hearings (NPR 1/2/18) 

Fact Sheet: Immigration Courts (National Immigration Forum)