Putting TRAC to Work
  Policy and Public Interest Groups
Human Rights First
October 2017

Backlogs Grow While Fairness Shrinks in U.S. Immigration Courts

Data on the immigration court backlog came from the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC) of Syracuse University, which analyses and publishes immigration court data received from the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) through Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests. TRAC data provides national statistics on cases pending before the court, cases filed with the court, the average number of days cases have been pending, the projected wait time, and the number of cases completed each year by the immigration courts. National averages based on TRAC data do not disaggregate detained and non-detained cases, meaning averages for non-detained cases are likely much higher given EOIR’s policy of prioritizing detained caseloads. Twenty-eight percent of cases handled by the immigration court in 2015 and 2016 were detained cases.For this report, Human Rights First used TRAC national averages and current trends with respect to incoming caseloads and case completion rates to predict the growth of the backlog, when the backlog will be eliminated, and to recommend the necessary increase in immigration judges.

Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse, Syracuse University
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