Putting TRAC to Work
  Legal and Scholarly
Center for Immigrants’ Rights, Penn State Dickinson School of Law
October 2013

To File or Not to File a Notice to Appear: Improving the Government’s Use of Prosecutorial Discretion

While the data obtained by the authors of this report and the ABA Report provides an approximate number of NTAs issued by DHS component, it does not tell us about NTAs that could have been issued but were not. Nor does it explain what happened to issued NTAs - some might have been cancelled while some might have not been filed with the immigration courts either as a matter of prosecutorial discretion or because they were legally deficient. What the data does not tell us — for example, how many of the issued NTAs were actually filed and by which agency — is quite significant in determining whether the immigration agencies are exercising their prosecutorial discretion at an operational level and at each stage of enforcement. Furthermore, there is a dearth of information regarding NTAs filed with the immigration courts. According to Professor Susan Long, Co-Director of the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC), a data gathering, data research, and data distribution organization at Syracuse University, nearly all data relied on by TRAC reports on deportation filings come from EOIR, which tracks immigration court proceedings, including ICE and CBP filings. EOIR's database, however, does not record whether a case was initiated by ICE or CBP. Thus, while the EOIR database provides a number of NTAs filed with the immigration courts,a comprehensive tracking mechanism that records which component filed (or chose not to file) a certain number of NTAs is still missing......[citing TRAC research].

Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse, Syracuse University
Copyright 2013
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