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Shutdown In Immigration Court A Respite For Some, An Injustice For Others

John F. Kennedy Federal Building in Boston houses the Boston Immigration Court. Photo by Curt Nickisch for WBUR

John F. Kennedy Federal Building in Boston houses the Boston Immigration Court. Photo by Curt Nickisch for WBUR

As the federal government shutdown continues, the backlog of cases in immigration court continues to increase — drawing mixed reactions from immigration experts.

Since the shutdown, dockets in immigration court have been frozen for those who aren’t in custody. Some experts worry this means immigrants are being denied due process; others see it as a welcome respite, giving some immigrants more time to get their affairs in order.

Lawyers say the freeze comes as immigration proceedings have reached a frenzied pace under the Trump administration.

Providence-based immigration lawyer Hans Brember says he often has far too little time to build a defense for his clients.

With the shutdown, it’s as if time has stopped, he says.

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