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Center for Immigration Studies
January 9, 2018

Attorney General Orders Review of Administrative Closure
By Andrew R. Arthur


In an August 2017 post, I speculated that the backlog of cases before the immigration courts may be much larger than official statistics indicate, because those statistics do not reflect the number of cases that have been administratively closed. At that time, I suggested: "There are no statistics on the number of cases that are currently administratively closed, but the number is likely at least an additional 100,000." Apparently I was off. By a lot. The American Bar Association's ABA Journal announced on January 5, 2018, that the number of administratively closed cases was actually "350,000 more than half of which were closed in four years under the Obama Administration and exceeding the total in the previous 22 years." This is in addition to 658,728 cases that the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC) identified as pending before the immigration courts in November 2017. Therefore, the total number of immigration cases to be adjudicated actually totals more than a million.


Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse, Syracuse University
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