IMMIGRATION

Immigration court backlog grows to nearly 600,000 cases

Researchers say the number of cases in the country's backlogged immigration courts has surged to nearly 600,000, jumping more than 100,000 in the last year.

The Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse at Syracuse University said Friday the caseload was up 16 percent in May from eight months ago. That's a bigger increase than in each of the last two fiscal years.

TRAC co-director Susan Long says the data does not show a big change since President Donald Trump took office, continuing on a trend from the end of the Obama administration. She says there's a lag in when cases are filed with court, so many of these were likely initiated during the Obama administration.

The backlog has been rising in recent years, especially since a surge of unaccompanied children and people traveling as families began arriving on the U.S.-Mexico border.