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September 16, 2020

ICE Filed Over 100,000 New Cases and Clogged the Courts at the Peak of the Pandemic
By Austin Kocher

The court shutdown has caused immigration judges’ productivity to plummet nationwide. At the beginning of the year, the immigration courts were completing around 40,000 cases per month, according to Justice Department data analyzed by Syracuse University’s Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse. But that number dropped to less than 6,000 per month for May, June, and July after most hearings were postponed or cancelled. The 2018 shutdown caused the immigration courts to cancel over 80,000 hearings while thousands of new immigration case filings piled up without being entered into the court record and without new hearings being scheduled. The shutdown added to the court’s backlog of (then) over 800,000 cases. New York’s immigration courts were among the hardest hit by the shutdown, with more immigration hearings cancelled than any other state except for California, according to TRAC.

Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse, Syracuse University
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