An overlooked element in the immigration debate is the nation’s Immigration Court system, where many of the newly arrived migrants will have their cases resolved. Key facts about the court system and its struggles include overflowing caseloads and long wait times. The country has 59 immigration courts overseen by the U.S. Department of Justice. Some are inside detention centers, while others deal with immigrants who are not detained. Immigration judges decided more than 140,000 initial cases during the 2013 fiscal year, which doesn’t include cases reopened or returned on appeal. While, according to the Justice Department’s Executive Office for Immigration Review, the top five countries of origin of immigrants with initial cases decided by the court during the 2013 fiscal year were Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras and China.
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