Countless immigrants face the U.S. court system alone. But now, the pandemic is complicating matters even more. As many civil and criminal trials stopped, immigration detention hearings continued until recently, despite nationwide stay-at-home orders. But now, federal officials are temporarily closing immigration courts.
Immigration court hearings postponed until mid-May
According to a recent report, immigration hearings for immigrants not in detention will stop until May 15. But the judges’ association suggests hearings cease until they can assure safety for everyone in the courtroom. Those include immigrants and their families, attorneys, judges, security guards and other court staff. The association also said if hearings do continue, they should happen over the phone.
But some court officials pushed back, saying they shouldn’t cancel in-person hearings. They say that because many federal courts are continuing to receive filings and hold critical hearings for detained individuals. Officials also said they’re committed to keeping immigrants and their families safe from any illness during this time.
Multiple factors making it hard for immigrants
America’s immigration system continues to cause problems. And now, the pandemic is making things worse. As courts deal with excessive backlogs, delays and now the suspension, the pandemic is exacerbating this issue. While it seems like the odds aren’t in your favor, that doesn’t mean you don’t have a fighting chance. Fortunately, a diligent and compassionate immigration law attorney can give you the representation you deserve.