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Center on Media Crime and Justice at John Jay College
January 20, 2021

‘Gigantic Pileup’ of 1.3 Million Immigration Cases Awaits Biden
By TCR Staff

The administration of President Donald Trump is leaving behind a “gigantic pileup” of immigration cases that are likely to remain unresolved during his successor’s entire first term in office, according to the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC) of Syracuse University. TRAC estimated the backlog amounts to nearly 1.3 million cases―some two and half times the number registered when Trump took office in January 2017. The administration’s pledges to streamline the system by hiring new immigration judges and fast-tracking court procedures failed to “make even a small dent” in the number, TRAC said. The “exploding backlog” was largely driven by the administration’s zero-tolerance immigration strategies aimed at deterring undocumented immigrants from attempting to enter the U.S. “The primary driver of the exploding backlog was not only the lack of immigration judges but the tsunami of new cases filed in court by the Department of Homeland Security,” TRAC said.

Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse, Syracuse University
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