There are a lot of things that regularly take longer than 7 minutes. Waiting on hold for tech support. Boiling pasta. Last week I spent more than 7 minutes just deciding what shoes to wear.
As one judge recently told The Washington Post, however, immigration hearings often take an average of 7 minutes. Over the last decade, the amount of money we spend on immigration enforcement and deportations has surged, and we have not upped the funding for immigration courts to match. The result: immigration judges regularly decide the fate of immigrants -- and their often U.S.-based families -- in less time than it takes to make your way through airport security.
Here are 7 other things that take longer than many immigration hearings:
7. Listening to that really, really long Queen song more than once. Rapper's Delight by Sugar Hill King also clocks in at about 15 minutes.
5. Free falling from space. Felix Baumgartner's plunge to earth (from leaving the capsule to getting on the ground) took 9:09 minutes.
4. Toning your abs. Seriously, swimsuit season is upon us.
3. Getting a 911 operator in New Orleans to actually answer your call.
2. Getting tired of watching funny cat videos on YouTube.
1. Building the perfect faux hawk.
On Thursday, the Senate Appropriations Committee will consider how much funding should be allocated to immigration courts. In the past, Congress has valued spending money on increasing deportation numbers over providing immigrants basic due process and fairness. Immigration enforcement spending grew by about 300 percent between fiscal year 2002 and 2013. During the same time period, funding for the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) -- which is responsible for conducting immigration court proceedings -- grew by just 70 percent.
Meanwhile, immigration judges continue to be strapped for time and resources. The outcome is as predictable as it is unjust. The judges struggle with an overwhelming docket, and immigrants are denied basic rights and the opportunity to have their cases fully considered.
More funding would mean more time to let judges do their job - and make the important decisions that affect immigrants and our communities.
Seven minutes just isn't enough.