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August 8, 2017

4,100 immigrants in Lee & Collier counties have ICE court cases
By Melanie Payne

The government has started court proceedings to deport more than 4,000 immigrants living in Collier and Lee counties, according to data compiled by a Syracuse University organization that tracks federal agencies. The Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC) data show that three out of every four counties in the U.S. have residents with pending deportation cases in U.S. Immigration Courts. Although most counties had fewer than 24 residents with pending immigration cases, 10 percent had 200 or more residents with pending cases. "We were focusing on the (legal) representation issue and wanted to look at how many cases were pending," said Professor Susan Long, co-director of TRAC. "We were shocked at the geography and distribution, that is was as widely distributed." In Florida, all 67 counties but one have residents with pending immigration cases. Most of these immigrants reside in Miami-Dade and Broward counties with some incarcerated in detention facilities. Lee and Collier counties rank numbers five and six for the most pending cases in Florida, with more undocumented immigrants with court cases than in Hillsborough, Pinellas and Duval counties. The number of immigration cases had grown only slightly prior to the inauguration of President Barack Obama. At the end of 2008, there were 186,108 pending immigration cases, according to TRAC data. By the end of Obama's term in 2016 there 516,031. The Trump administration seems on track to increase those numbers. As of June 2017, TRAC tallied 610,524 pending cases.

Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse, Syracuse University
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