Letter to Hon. Rosa DeLauro, Hon. Kay Granger, Hon. Matt Cartwright Chairman, Hon. Rober Aderholt Ranking Member - Congresswoman Lizzie Fletcher Leads Effort To Address Immigration Court Backlog, Hire More Judges


Dear Chairman Cartwright and Ranking Member Aderholt:

As you consider the Fiscal Year 2023 Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies
Appropriations bill, we respectfully request that you include robust funding for the Executive
Office for Immigration Review (EOIR). It is critical that EOIR has the resources to do its critical

The primary mission of EOIR is to adjudicate immigration cases by fairly, expeditiously, and
uniformly interpreting and administering the nation's immigration laws. Under delegated
authority from the Attorney General, EOIR conducts immigration court proceedings, appellate
review, and administrative hearings. It is essential that EOIR hire highly qualified, diverse
immigration judges to ensure the adjudication process is impartial and consistent with due
process. Doing so is important not only to those currently participating in the process but to
everyone in the country.

A well-functioning immigration court system is vital to achieving the objectives of our
immigration laws consistent with our values. Unfortunately, a backlog of immigration cases to
be adjudicated continues to grow. At the beginning of 2021, immigration courts had a 1.3
million case backlog. Although the Biden Administration has prioritized EOIR over the last
year, the backlog in the immigration courts has grown to nearly 1.7 million cases, with the
pandemic and policy changes from the previous administration exacerbating an already stressed

This backlog impedes the functioning of our immigration system, creating a significant barrier
for people legally seeking asylum, migrants, pregnant women, and people with disabilities that
seek to enter the United States. These complex cases can take up to three years before receiving
a hearing, leaving migrants, families, and communities in legal limbo as they wait for hearings
and decisions. Even with improvements and measures from the Biden administration, there is
still a great deal of work to be done.

That is why we request that Congress continue to fund EOIR to increase adjudicatory and case
processing capacity to decrease the pending caseload. It is critical that EOIR has sufficient
adjudicative resources to ensure a well-functioning and fair system consistent with our values
and in the interest of all. Accordingly, we strongly urge you to provide robust funding for this
program in the Fiscal Year 2023 Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies
Appropriations bill.