Putting TRAC to Work
  Policy and Public Interest Groups
November 10, 2010

As Deportations Increase, So Have Officials’ Attempts to Deport the Wrong People
By Marian Wang

From July to September of this year, for instance, almost a third of all deportation cases brought by ICE were rejected by immigration judges—up from 12 months earlier, when the rate was one out of every four. According to TRAC, judges have rejected removal orders for more than a quarter of a million individuals in the past five years. While the judges’ exact reasons remain unclear, records from the Justice Department’s Executive Office for Immigration Review indicate that many times, immigration officials had either tried to deport the wrong people or requested dismissal because they didn’t have enough evidence to justify deportation. In some cases, judges also granted relief [PDF] because of an individual’s refugee status, a pending application for change of legal status or for some other reason. ICE has refused to turn over more detailed data on the deportation cases that were rejected by courts, according to TRAC. In lieu of more data, TRAC noted the following questions: The new findings about the broad failures in ICE efforts to deport individuals raise two important questions that might be answered with the more extensive data that the agency has sought to withhold from the public. One involves the effectiveness of the agency: is it targeting the individuals for removal who in fact should be deported? The second question concerns the basic fairness of the process: what is the impact on those individuals the agency has wrongly sought to remove who were entitled to remain in the United States?

Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse, Syracuse University
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