Immigration court coming to Indianapolis in 2023, DOJ says

A new immigration court with 40 employees, including judges, will open in Indianapolis in 2023, the U.S. Department of Justice confirmed Tuesday.

Currently, immigration cases from Indiana are sent to the Chicago Immigration Court in Illinois. The new court will serve the state of Indiana, a public information officer with the Executive Office for Immigration Review, or EOIR, said.

The immigration court will be in the Minton-Capehart Federal Building, 575 N. Pennsylvania St. Additional details on the timeline, hiring plans and caseload are not available at this time, the officer said.

The EOIR, a sub-agency of the DOJ, is responsible for adjudicating immigration cases. The agency, under the direction of the U.S. attorney general, interprets and administers federal immigration laws by conducting immigration court proceedings, appellate reviews and administrative hearings.

The DOJ doesn’t break out the budget costs for opening individual immigration courts, but its fiscal year 2022 proposed budget requests an additional $177.5 million for “immigration-related program enhancements,” which includes enhancing the expanding adjudicatory capacity.

There are currently 68 immigration courts across the country with 600 judges, according to the DOJ. The Chicago Immigration Court—which is assigned to cases from Illinois, Indiana and Wisconsin—falls under the jurisdiction of the Office of the Chief Immigration Judge, which is a component of the EOIR under the DOJ.

Immigration judges are appointed by the U.S. attorney general.

News of the new Indianapolis court comes as immigration courts continue to be bogged down by a record number of cases.

According to the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse at Syracuse University, the current backlog of cases in immigration courts is at a record of almost 1.7 million in the U.S. The TRAC reports there are currently 71,825 pending cases in the Chicago court.

“EOIR constantly monitors its caseload nationwide to meet the needs of all those with business before the agency, and opening new immigration courts in high-volume areas is one way to meet our stakeholders’ needs,” Gail Montenegro, EOIR’s Midwest regional public information officer, said.

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4 thoughts on “Immigration court coming to Indianapolis in 2023, DOJ says

  1. Fully loaded (with overhead) costs of wages, holidays, retirement, FUTA, SUTA, etc. will average close to $ 100,000 per employee per year. Times 40 employees equals $ 4,000,000, annually, just for the staff. Then there is building rent. Note this is a “new” immigration court so our government must find these finds somewhere … probably fresh off the printing presses. All because our federal government willfully violates existing immigration laws. The irony is it is the US Department of Justice that will spend the $ 4 million + dollars per year … because the US Department of Justice believes it is acceptable for immigration laws to not be enforced.

  2. Should immigration be stopped? Then what might be the best method to address immigration? Currently, the laws both national and international allow individuals to seek to immigrate and seek asylum. Close and comprehensive review of immigration laws, regulations, rules, and protocols provide extensive insight and for many, a better understanding of the current situation.

    One should not mix issues that are different. Those who arrive at the border and seek to enter legally and consequently are left in legal limbo by existing laws and policies that do not allow for efficient processing — which could be denial or approval.

    The other issue is illegal immigration — that which is carried out by a number of maneuvers including smuggling within vehicles and movements across the border.

    Hypocrisy is a major issue in that many immigrants serve the needs and whims of many who complain about immigration. They work in eating establishments, both fast and non-fast food, they toil in the agricultural industry; they work in meat processing facilities throughout the nation — including Indiana. Perhaps more oversight of the places where immigrants work should be implemented. Where is the vitriol regarding the employers who hire the so-called illegal immigrants to work at these facilities at low wages and high intimidation — this unfortunate situation should be fixed.

    Let’s consider Lone Star State — Texas — one where inexpensive day labor can be secured in many cities for landscaping, moving, or domestic duties. The individuals are typically paid in cash and the the bona fide US citizens who benefit from this inexpensive endeavor, aka illegal employment, do not seem to mind the personal gain but will readily decry the border crisis.

    But both legal and illegal immigration occur not only at the southern border of the United States but elsewhere. Not uncommon is immigration by those who come to the US from Europe or Asia or Africa as au pairs, for example, or as models or as students who stay beyond the allowed visit.

    That the backlog will be addressed and that Indianapolis will be a location for this to occur present a benefit for the city and region.

    Doing nothing will certainly not help issues. Suggesting an insightful workable and efficient plan would.

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