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The Latest: Hundreds in line at California immigration court

January 31, 2019

MIAMI (AP) — The Latest on confusion over immigration court hearings (all times local):

2:45 p.m.

Hundreds of people stood in line outside a U.S. immigration office in California amid confusion about court hearings delayed by weather or the partial government shutdown.

The line snaked around the block in downtown San Francisco on Thursday. Some people had court appointments, but many held notices to appear for hearings that would not proceed because of administrative delays.

U.S. immigration officials blamed the government shutdown and extreme winter weather for confusion about immigration hearings in several U.S. cities. In some cases, courts didn’t receive the required paperwork in time.

The government shutdown prevented immigration courts from issuing new hearing notices, and weather-related closures this week in some courts also created delays.

Similar backlogs have occurred nationwide since a recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling addressed how to provide notices to immigrants to appear in court.

Immigration officials in San Francisco said they were trying to process the paperwork as quickly as possible.

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12:30 p.m.

U.S. immigration officials blame the government shutdown and the extreme winter weather for confusion about immigration court hearings.

In an emailed statement, the part of the Justice Department overseeing immigration courts said some immigrants with notices to appear Thursday wouldn’t be able to proceed with those hearings.

The Executive Office for Immigration Review said the shutdown prevented immigration courts from issuing new hearing notices. Weather-related closures this week also slowed the agency’s processing of cases.

The agency also said in some cases, courts didn’t receive the required paperwork.

Separately, Immigration and Customs Enforcement said the overflow of hearings scheduled Thursday had been expected due to the shutdown.

Similar backlogs have occurred nationwide since a recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling addressed how to provide notices to immigrants to appear in court.

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