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Immigration Court Backlog Nears 1.5 Million Cases: TRAC

November 15, 2021 (2 min read)

TRAC, Nov. 15, 2021

"Including nearly 50,000 new deportation cases filed in Immigration Court in just October 2021, the total pending cases in the Immigration Courts now reaches 1,486,495 according to TRAC's updated Quick Facts tools. Immigration Judges completed 21,154 cases in October, less than half of the total new cases coming into the courts, which means the total backlog continues to grow each month.

The Transactional Research Access Clearinghouse (TRAC) a research organization at Syracuse University created 'Quick Facts' tools to provide a user-friendly way to see the most updated data available on immigrant detention and the Immigration Courts. The tools include easy-to-understand data in context and provide quotable descriptions.

Highlights from data updated today on immigrants facing deportation in court include the following:

  • Immigration Courts recorded receiving 49,817 new cases so far in FY 2022 as of October 2021. This compares with 21,154 cases that the court completed during this period.
  • According to court records, only 0.68% of FY 2022 new cases sought deportation orders based on any alleged criminal activity of the immigrant, apart from possible illegal entry.
  • At the end of October 2021, 1,486,495 active cases were pending before the Immigration Court.
  • Los Angeles County, CA, has the most residents with pending Immigration Court deportation cases (as of the end of October 2021).
  • So far this fiscal year (through October 2021), immigration judges have issued removal and voluntary departure orders in 24.7% of completed cases, totaling 5,232 deportation orders.
  • So far in FY 2022 (through October 2021), immigrants from Guatemala top list of nationalities with the largest number ordered deported.
  • Only 20.7% of immigrants, including unaccompanied children, had an attorney to assist them in Immigration Court cases when a removal order was issued.
  • Immigration judges have held 2,011 bond hearings so far in FY 2022 (through October 2021). Of these 714 were granted bond.

For more information, see TRAC's Quick Facts tools here or click here to learn more about TRAC's entire suite of immigration tools.

To examine a variety of Immigration Court data, including asylum data, the backlog, MPP, and more now updated through September 2021, use TRAC's Immigration Court tools here:

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TRAC is self-supporting and depends on foundation grants, individual contributions and subscription fees for the funding needed to obtain, analyze and publish the data we collect on the activities of the US Federal government. To help support TRAC's ongoing efforts, go to:"