Immigration courts are special administrative courts that only hear immigration-related cases. There are over two hundred judges in over fifty immigration courts in the United States. The entire immigration court system is run by the Department of Justice (DOJ). The DOJ appoints all immigration court judges, makes all the rules and procedures, and oversees the Board of Immigration Appeals.

Where Are Immigration Courts Located?

Immigration courts are located in places where there is a high immigration population. Currently, there are immigration courts in twenty-seven states and two territories. The states and territories where the courts are located are:

  • Arizona
  • California
  • Colorado
  • Connecticut
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Hawaii
  • Illinois
  • Louisiana
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • Michigan
  • Minnesota
  • Missouri
  • Nebraska
  • Nevada
  • New Jersey
  • New York
  • North Carolina
  • Northern Mariana Islands
  • Ohio
  • Oregon
  • Pennsylvania
  • Puerto Rico
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • Utah
  • Virginia
  • Washington

In addition to these permanent locations, immigration courts will sometimes set up temporary courts. These temporary courts are often located in cities where there are a significant number of immigration cases, but not sizeable enough to justify establishing a permanent immigration court in that area.

In addition to hearing cases in court, immigration court judges will often hold various hearings at Department of Homeland Security detention centers, as well as federal, state, and local correctional facilities.

Do I Need a Lawyer for Immigration Court?

If you are undergoing immigration proceedings, it is important that you hire an immigration attorney. An immigration attorney will be able to advise you through the immigration process and fight for your interests. It is always best to consult with an immigration lawyer if you are going to immigration court given that your immigration status is at stake.