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Suits Challenging Confinement of Noncitizens Jump (TRAC, Feb. 21, 2017)

February 23, 2017 (1 min read)

TRAC, Feb. 21, 2017 - "Habeas corpus filings in federal courts challenging the confinement of noncitizens have risen sharply. The latest available data from the federal courts show that during January 2017 the government reported 168 new habeas corpus civil filings by noncitizens. According to the case-by-case information analyzed by the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC), this number is up 24.4 percent over the previous month when the number of civil filings of this type totaled 135.

When monthly 2017 civil filings of this type are compared with those of the same period in the previous year, their number was up (57.7%). Civil filings for January 2017 are also higher than they were for the same period five years ago. Overall, the data show that civil filings of this type are up 76.0 percent from levels reported in January 2012.

Where these types of suits are filed in large part reflects where particular detention facilities are located. These facilities are used by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to house noncitizens who the agency seeks to deport. For the FY 2015 - FY 2017 period (October 2014 - January 2017), New Jersey had the largest number of these civil suits, followed by Middle District of Pennsylvania (Scranton) with 239 separate suits, and the Middle District of Georgia (Macon) with 201 suits.

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Each month, TRAC offers a report focused on one area of civil litigation in the U.S. district courts. In addition, subscribers to the TRACFed data service can generate custom reports by district, office, nature of suit or federal jurisdiction. To start, go to:

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