According to reports, those who are already in detention centers will have to wait three to six months for Chicago’s immigration court. Others who are not detained may have to wait at least five years; this is due to the backlog during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Only 10 judges oversee thousands of cases; they are responsible for Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky and Wisconsin. With not enough judges, those in the court system hope for better management and the hiring of more judges. In some cases, 100 people are brought into a court to see one particular judge as the result of the backlog.
Waiting to see a judge is hard on migrants, who are managing uncertainty. It affects people emotionally, financially, mentally and physically. There is also an issue of COVID-19 spreading through detention centers in the Midwest. Some people are not receiving the results of their tests while others have no soap or sanitizers. One person was put in a room by themselves for 24 hours a day, but according to reports it is not a legal, just form of social distancing.
If there is a threat of deportation, a law firm with a knowledge of immigration law may be an advocate. An attorney may communicate with government officials on behalf of their client. A more favorable outcome may be the result as legal professionals are aware of the necessary steps for resolution. Court might be avoided with the aid of a knowledgeable attorney.