Some 77,000 cases are pending in Texas immigration courts, and that number is growing daily.
Since 2014, the state’s backlog has increased 58 percent, according to a Syracuse University study. The average projected wait for each pending case in Houston has swelled to nearly five years.
Now Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid has a plan to string out the process, slowing it even further while making it more costly.
The Nevada Democrat introduced the Fair Day in Court for Kids Act this month. It would ensure that unaccompanied minor migrants, along with others fighting removal from the United States, receive legal representation at taxpayer expense.
According to Reid, his bill “would require the Department of Homeland Security to ensure that immigrants at detention and border facilities have access to counsel and provide legal orientation programs so that detainees understand their rights.”
Reid’s measure includes an accountability metric: It orders DHS to report how many qualifying individuals actually receive counsel.