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Roll Call
April 16, 2018

Trump’s Strategy to Shrink Immigration Court Backlog May Not Work
By Dean DeChiaro

The backlog at immigration courts has steadily increased every year since 2008, including by more than 100,000 cases from fiscal 2016 to fiscal 2017, according to Syracuse University’s Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse, known as TRAC. Previous administrations have tried their own ways of reducing it, with little success. John Ashcroft, former President George W. Bush’s first attorney general, streamlined the appeals process following the 9/11 terrorist attacks, but the move was seen as exacerbating the problem further. Under President Barack Obama, EOIR established what critics called a “rocket docket” focused on cases involving unaccompanied child migrants, who flooded the system with asylum claims after they arrived at the border by the tens of thousands starting in 2014. Again, the backlog continued to swell.

Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse, Syracuse University
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