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Immigration Courts Now Face Backlog of Over 1.5 Million Cases

December 20, 2021 (2 min read)

TRAC, Dec. 20, 2021

"According to data updated today by the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC) at Syracuse University, the number of pending cases in Immigration Court has now reached 1,559,855 as of the end of November 2021. The high number of pending cases puts additional pressure on Immigration Judges who are tasked with deciding these cases.

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 the Immigration Courts. The tools include easy-to-understand data in context and provide quotable descriptions. Many of TRAC's Immigration Court data tools have also been updated and can be viewed by clicking here.

Additional key takeaways from today's data release include the following:

  • Immigration Courts recorded receiving 143,803 new cases so far in FY 2022 as of November 2021. This compares with 43,156 cases that the court completed during this two-month period.
  • According to court records, only 0.51% 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 November 2021, 1,559,855 active cases were pending before the Immigration Court.
  • Harris County, TX, has the most residents with pending Immigration Court deportation cases (as of the end of November 2021).
  • So far this fiscal year (through November 2021), immigration judges have issued removal and voluntary departure orders in 24.0% of completed cases, totaling 10,357 deportation orders.
  • So far in FY 2022 (through November 2021), immigrants from Guatemala top list of nationalities with 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 4,193 bond hearings so far in FY 2022 (through November 2021). Of these 1,613 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.

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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:

David Burnham and Susan B. Long, co-directors
Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse
Syracuse University
601 E. Genesee Street
Syracuse, NY 13202-3117

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