Immigrant influx having little effect on El Paso dockets, says attorney
POSTED: Tuesday, July 1, 2014 - 11:53pm
UPDATED: Wednesday, July 2, 2014 - 12:30pm
EL PASO (KTSM) — The recent influx of undocumented immigrants from Central America is having little affect on El Paso's immigration courts according to a local attorney.
Immigration lawyer Pamela Muñoz said while the Sun City does have a backlog of cases the problem has not been compounded by the hundreds of immigrants that have passed through El Paso.
Muñoz said the reason is that most of the undocumented immigrants that have arrived in Border Patrol buses from South Texas have almost immediately left El Paso as they try to reach family in other parts of the country.
Wherever the immigrants end up is typically where the government will schedule their next hearing.
Still, Muñoz said there is a nationwide shortage of immigration judges.
"There's been a shortage for many years," she said. "It's to the point that cases are delayed and it can be several years before an individual will get to see an immigration judge."
According to the Executive Office for Immigration Review, El Paso currently has six immigration judges split between the federal building downtown and the processing center in East El Paso.