Immigration services in Los Angeles and across the United States are being affected by the national government shutdown that began on Dec. 22, 2018.
According to the records office of the University of Syracuse, there are approximately 800,000 people waiting for the status of their immigration cases, and in Los Angeles there are at least 74,000 cases that are affected, with that number increasing by the day.
Several families are receiving immediate responses because they are new arrivals into the country; however, an immigration lawyer says that even those cases could see an impact if the government shutdown lingers on.
"Well, I came to my first appointment and they even extended it to me, because it was only for people who had an ankle monitor," said Marvin Carrillas, who had a pending case but was told to return in April due to the shutdown.
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"Many people who have waited to have their final court date will no longer be able to represent their cases, and those cases will be delayed for three to six months or one more year into the future," said Gustavo Mora, an immigration lawyer.
Los Angeles County only has 40 judges in immigration court, and immigration cases have been delayed by at least 50 percent at the local and national level in the last two years prior to the shutdown, according to Syracuse University.
"With the immigration courts, clients who have just arrived in the United States because of political asylum that have ankle monitors and are under supervision order will not be able to hear their cases soon in court," Mora said.
The immigration office will send a statement by mail if your appointment has been affected. The attorney recommends that you call the toll-free service number at 1-800-898-7180.