Good news in grand scheme of U.S. immigration courts: (1) the number of cases immigration courts have taken has dropped, down to 26% fewer in 2013 than 2009 and (2) of those cases heard by the courts, the rulings against deportations have risen. This leads to a 43% drop in deportations in the past 4 years.
This has mainly been applied in the discretion the courts are using to discern immigrants with criminal records, instead of applying the same standard to all.
Although there is a backlog of cases in the system, mostly due to budget cuts in the past few years, more cases are being represented by immigration attorneys. In 2009, only 35% were, and as as 2013, that number is up to 59%. Although some aspects of the system can be discouraging, these numbers are more hopeful than before.