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Shutdown delaying immigration cases

Immigration cases can be very difficult to go through, especially for individuals seeking asylum or facing deportation. Many immigration cases take a while to conclude, and the government shutdown will only increase the amount of time it takes for immigration cases to be heard. 

The government shutdown has forced thousands of immigration cases in the United States to be put on hold. Immigration courts will still be hearing cases for immigrants in detention; all other immigration court cases have been halted until the Executive Office of Immigration Review has funding. 

There are still 18 immigration courts open, and an additional 25 courts are partially opened, according to the EOIR. The 16 courts that typically hear cases involving non-detained immigrants have been closed due to the shutdown. 

The government shutdown could continue to have a very serious impact on immigration cases. Immigration reform advocates say that the shutdown could lead to political asylum cases and some deportation cases being delayed for several months if the shutdown continues. 

The shutdown could have a significant impact on political asylum cases that are delayed. Asylum advocates say that these cases could be negatively affected by the delays because evidence may get lost and immigrants may not remember everything as clearly as earlier. 

The shutdown is already having an impact on the estimated 350,000 immigration cases currently being reviewed by immigration judges. Many of these cases take several months or even a year to be completed so a delay from the shutdown may be very significant for many cases. 

Hopefully the government will stop the shutdown so thousands of immigration cases will not be delayed any longer. 

Source: Fox News, "Immigration Court Cases On Hold During Government Shutdown," Oct. 2, 2013

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