Overview. The data accessible through the Women with Children — Priority Immigration Court Cases data tool, as well as information contained in TRAC reports based on that data, were obtained from the Executive Office of Immigration Review (EOIR) using the Freedom of Information Act. The data are comprised of individual case records from the federal Immigration Courts, which are administrative courts that, like EOIR itself, are part of the Department of Justice. The names and any other personal identifiers are removed from the records before the information is released to TRAC. The data were extracted by EOIR from its CASE database system, which tracks the workloads of the Immigration Courts. Findings reported are based on TRAC's detailed analysis of these case-by-case Immigration Court records.
Coverage. The EOIR data are comprised of the case-by-case records of every Immigration Court case that was assigned an "adult with children" case priority flag. In response to the sudden influx of women and children seeking refuge in this country during the summer of 2014, the Immigration Courts adopted new rules that gave priority to scheduling these cases. These new procedures followed the Obama Administration's actions seeking to expedite removal in these cases. Immigrants in these removal proceedings already have successfully passed an initial "credible fear" screening and are now in formal removal proceedings. At this point, most families were no longer held in detention facilities, although they were still in ICE custody and being monitored under one of ICE's "alternatives to detention" programs.
Not counted in the data. This application does not cover women with children who did not pass their initial "credible fear" screening: only those who did pass are included here. And because the case priority system is new, it only covers cases that were either pending or were filed after the system was put in place. Further, at the time the case priority system was started during Summer 2014, only those in some form of ICE custody — either detained or being monitored by ICE under ATD — were assigned a priority status by the courts. Once initially flagged, TRAC was able to follow the progress of these cases even after an individual was no longer in ICE custody. Also see discussion of "EOIR Case Priority Status" in the definitions below.
Using the Data Tool: Dimensions and Definitions
Filtering the data using the three data columns. The data filter from left to right, so that as you select a dimension in the left table, it will then show you the sub-categories of data within that particular selection in the tables to the right. In other words, if you click on a category in the left table to display only cases within that class in the middle table and in the time series graph. Click on a category in the middle table to display only cases within that class in the right table and in the time series graph.
Number/percent toggle. By default, the number of cases is displayed in the graph. To instead display the value as a percent of the total for your current selection, choose the "Percent" option to the right of the graph. (Note: 100 percent will be displayed if the total ("All") was the category you have currently selected.) Mouse-over any bar in the graph to view the value being plotted for that fiscal year.
Data dimensions. To change the set of categories displayed in a table, select a different factor from the pull-down menu above that table. The following factors can be selected:
Initial Filing versus Current Status. Select the measure "Initial Filing" to see the court location where the removal case was originally filed and what happened in the proceeding taking place at that location. If the case was transferred to a different court location, the outcome shown will be "Case Transferred."
To find out the court's decision to date for all cases or whether the case is still pending, select "Current Status." When a case has transferred one or more times between court locations, this selection will give you the proceeding at the last location. For cases that have been closed, it will give you the Immigration Judge's decision in the case indicating whether the family was ordered deported or allowed to remain in the country. Whether the family was represented, EOIR case priority status, and the outcome are specific to this last proceeding. (If the case was never transferred, the last location is the same as the initial location.)
Additional TRAC Immigration Enforcement Data and Tools
To access additional data using other TRAC immigration enforcement tools, go to this directory of data tools.