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The New Republic
January 2, 2019

Jailed Raped Deported Robbed
By Elliott Woods

While arrests of suspected undocumented immigrants have spiked under Trump, deportation rates have actually decreased, in part because the immigration courts are disas­trously overburdened. According to the most recent data compiled by the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse immigration project at Syracuse University, there is currently a growing backlog of 768,00 cases—an increase of more than 220,000, or nearly 40 percent, since the end of Obama’s term. That means immigration detainees are spending more time behind bars, awaiting their day before one of the country’s roughly 400 immigration judges, each of whom now faces an average docket of more than 1,700 cases per year. In a given year, judges complete only about 35 percent of their caseload—which means that even if no new cases are added, it will take years to get through the existing ones. The Bipartisan Research Center estimates that the current backlog won’t be cleared until 2040. Doubling the number of new immigration judges to the bench would clear the docket by 2019, at a cost of $400 million—less than 2 percent of the $25 billion border wall price tag.

Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse, Syracuse University
Copyright 2019
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