Putting TRAC to Work
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Vox
January 10, 2020

Trump says most asylum seekers donít show up for their court hearings. A new study shows 99% do.
By Nicole Narea


President Donald Trump has often claimed that the only way to ensure that migrants show up for their court hearings rather than vanish into the US is to keep them in detention or else make sure that they never step foot on American soil in the first place. But the presidentís theory doesnít hold up: About 99 percent of asylum seekers who were not detained or who were previously released from immigration custody showed up for their hearings over the last year, according to new data from the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC) at Syracuse University, a think tank that tracks data in the immigration courts. Studies from previous years have also disproven the idea that most migrants will choose to live in the US without authorization rather than see their immigration cases through. But itís nevertheless central to Trumpís immigration policies, including those that aim to keep migrants in Mexico rather than letting them walk free in the US. The latest data from TRAC shows that nearly every asylum seeker showed up for their court hearings over the course of 2019. Thatís even though the vast majority of asylum seekers ó about 4 in 5 ó were not detained at all or had been released from US Immigration and Customs Enforcement custody before their court date. (The numbers donít account for migrants in immigration proceedings who claimed other kinds of relief from deportation.)


Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse, Syracuse University
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