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US Chief Immigration Judge Steps Down Following 6 Years of Service

US Chief Immigration will leave service after more than six years in office.

WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — US Chief Immigration Judge Brian O'Leary will leave service after more than six years in office, Department of Justice Executive Office for Immigration Review said in a press release.

“Brian M. O'Leary has decided to return to the immigration bench as an immigration judge at the Arlington Immigration Court,” the press release read on Wednesday.

Changes in the Executive Office for Immigration Review system will take place on July 26, 2015, according to the press release. O'Leary will return to the immigration judges’ bench, where he served from 2007 to 2009.

“In the interim, Assistant Chief Immigration Judge Print Maggard will serve as the Acting Chief Immigration Judge,” the press release said.

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The United States has been facing a surge in illegal immigrants, particularly unaccompanied minors.

US government spending on immigration enforcement increased about 300 percent between 2002 and 2013, while funding for immigration courts rose 70 percent, according to the US think tank the Migration Policy Institute (MPI).

In April 2015, the Washington, DC-based Migration Policy Institute told Sputnik that increase number of unaccompanied children is symptomatic of a crisis in the US immigration court system rather than the protection of the country’s southern border.

US immigration courts are extremely under-resourced, and it can take more than two years for a case to appear before an immigration judge for a deportation hearing, according to the Migration Policy Institute.

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