As a Boston-based immigration lawyer specializing in deportation defense, I’m well aware of the Boston Globe reported today here. The docket in Boston Immigration Court is overwhelmed with deportation cases.
So, based on this article, if you are in deportation proceedings, how long can you expect to wait before Boston Immigration Court processes your immigration case? The answer depends on a number of factors. People with no relief from removal or deportation tend to have their cases processed more quickly. The long delays mostly impact people who have application for relief such as cancellation of removal, adjustment of status, or asylum.
To give you an example how these delays play out, in December of 2009, I appeared before an Immigration Court in Boston for a master calendar hearing. I turned in pleadings indicating that I was seeking relief from deportation in the form of cancellation of removal with an I-601 waiver for misrepresentation. An Immigration Judge would likely need three and a half hours for to conduct a full merits hearing. The Immigration Judge scheduled another master calendar hearing in December of 2010, where I’m expected to appear and turn in my application for relief. The Immigration Judge will then schedule an individual hearing, which is a trial date. I expect that this hearing will be in mid-2012.
So for my client, the entire process of seeking relief from deportation in Boston Immigration Court will take more than 3 years. This delay is more than a minor inconvenience. During this time, he is unable to travel outside the United States to see his ailing mother.
One ray of hope is that a new Immigration Judge will replace Boston Immigration Judge Cramer, who retired last summer.