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October 23, 2020

Trump falsely claims that only migrants with 'the lowest IQ' return for their court dates after being arrested by US immigration authorities
By Tyler Sonnemaker

Immigration court records are kept secret by the government (and researchers have repeatedly accused the Trump administration of deleting records), so it's difficult to know exactly how many migrants end up showing up to their court dates. But Trump's claim of 1% is far from accurate even by his own Justice Department's estimate, which said last year that 44% "of all non-detained removal cases end with an in absentia order of removal due to an alien's failure to attend a scheduled immigration court hearing." Researchers from Syracuse University's Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC) found in 2019 that 81.6% of migrant families without legal representation showed up to their initial court date, while that jumped to 99.9% for families with legal representation. Overall, they found, 81% attended every single one of their court hearings.

Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse, Syracuse University
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