House of Representatives approves 100 new immigration judges
The influx of migrants at the border is leaving the immigration court system with a lot of work and in need of help.
Last week, city officials discussed the possibility of an immigration court coming to the downtown area.
With the City of Laredo working hard to create a local immigration court to help ease the workflow, all they would need is immigration judges to fill the courtrooms.
Congressman Henry Cuellar says he has emphasized to the administration that they need to put judges on the border.
This year, the House of Representatives has approved the hiring of 100 new judges, which will start in 2020.
Congressman Cuellar is part of that committee who since 2016 has hired more than 300 judges; however, none of them are here in Laredo.
Cuellar says many immigration judges have been assigned to major cities such as New York or Miami.
He believes if judges are sent to the southern border, it can help speed up the backlog.
For example, they can give migrants their assigned hearings and then immediately return those who need to be taken back to their country.
Cuellar says out of 100 people, about 80 percent of them are going to get rejected.
Another thing Congressman Cuellar has been pushing for is to house immigration judges at the former federal courthouse.
The city has been in talks with his office and is working on making the idea a reality.
Another option the city is looking into is using the general service administration building which is also located downtown.
Cuellar is looking to bring three judges to Laredo so they can help put a dent in the backlog of asylum cases that are in the hundreds of thousands.
The congressman also secured funding for the judges to have an appropriate court space to conduct immigration proceedings.
The judges will help ease up the wait times on current cases stuck in the courts for more than two years.