A new research report says Orange County has some of the highest number of residents facing deportation in the state.
“The State of Immigration Enforcement and Legal Resources in Orange County”
by the Orange County Justice Fund found more than 2.1 million immigration cases are pending as they wait for decisions from immigration judges.
OCJF executive director Sabrina Rivera said the Department of Justice opened an immigration court in Santa Ana in November 2021 to address a historic number of residents with pending immigration cases.
“There’s no due process if the immigration laws are unjust to begin with,” Rivera said.
It’s a legal system that people like Laura Hernandez, who is waiting for her immigration hearing, say is hard to navigate.
“I still, until this day, live in fear that ICE could come to pick me up,” Hernandez said.
According to the report, there are almost 23,000 pending deportation cases awaiting decisions from an immigration judge at the Santa Ana immigration court.