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Why does immigration take so long?

No one would deny that there are problems with the immigration processes in the United States. Kentucky, like all states, is dealing with all manner of competing concerns in this area.

Businesses looking for workers with unique skills may feel pressured to go beyond the boundaries of our own country if viable candidates can't be found here. Foreign workers striving to grab the brass ring and share in the American dream compete against hundreds of thousands of others for a limited number of visas every year. And there are the undocumented workers fearing not just the loss of jobs but of their families.

Responding effectively to all of these concerns and striving to achieve the optimal outcome is something those with experience know is not for the faint of heart. Immigration laws are complicated and sometimes counterintuitive. Competing political agendas add to the confusion. Then there are the seemingly perennial issues of government bureaucracy and agency underfunding.

Indeed, those last two issues are about the only things upon which pro- and anti-immigration forces in the country seem to agree. What follows is a quick breakdown by CNN about how that's playing out.

The short answer to the question posed in the headline of this post, according to CNN's research, is that that the U.S. Immigration courts are understaffed. There aren't enough judges and there are too many cases. The average time it takes for a case to get in front of one of the 312 current judges is 677 days.

The Justice Department says it's trying to beef up the number of judges on the bench. At the same time, Attorney General Jeff Sessions has called for stepped up prosecutions. Observers say that will likely increase the flow of cases into an overflowing system.

Immigration law processes can't stop in the face of all these factors. They could suffer, though. To be sure laws are applied in a way that protects individual rights consult with an experienced attorney.

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