Delays in Immigration Hearings Likely Well Into 2021
When President Joe Biden won the 2020 election, many immigrants rejoiced after four years of harsh immigration policies under the previous administration.
However, the change of leadership in the White House won’t usher in vast immigration benefits quite the way many hoped. Those waiting on an immigration hearing can expect delays well into 2021.
Why Are Immigration Hearings Delayed?
Immigration hearings face significant delays this year because of a few key reasons.
First, COVID-19 continues to delay hearings. Even with more good news related to the pandemic coming daily, many courts were closed for three months, causing a delay. Now, many still operate virtually or at reduced capacity.
The migrant detention centers and shelters also could not function at full capacity for the first half of this year due to social distancing and COVID-19 restrictions, causing a backlog.
There are also more immigrants than ever trying to enter the country. According to the Washington Post, “A rising number of migrants are streaming to the U.S. southern border — more than 100,000 were detained in February alone. U.S. officials expected the influx to hit a 20-year high this year, posing a major challenge to Biden and his promise to adopt more humane immigration policies.”
How Long Does It Typically Take To Receive An Immigration Court’s Ruling?
Even before the pandemic, scheduling a hearing could take several months to a year. However, if immigration authorities have you detained, the immigration court will schedule your hearing as soon as possible, typically within a few weeks to a few months.
The actual hearing itself may be very short, so waiting for the hearing to occur will feel like the longest part. The judge will notify you of their decision during the hearing. If you wish to appeal, expect another six months or so added to your timeline.
What Should I Do If I’m Waiting For An Immigration Hearing?
If you are currently waiting for an immigration hearing, securing proper legal counsel to represent you and present the best evidence for when your hearing does occur will increase your chances of a favorable outcome.
Call the offices of Fay, Grafton, & Nunez immediately for a consultation. We can discuss your case and our background in navigating the ever-evolving immigration laws in this country.
One of our key practice areas is immigration, and we have specialized in green cards, naturalization, deportation defense, visa petitions, asylum hearings, and more. Schedule your consultation immediately to ensure your case is handled by the top immigration lawyers in the North Carolina area.