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Miami New Times
September 20, 2021

Despite What Trump Says, Most Immigrant Families Show Up for Court, Report Shows
By Manuel Madrid

In the pantheon of Trump administration lies, the over-criminalization of undocumented immigrants has been among the most pernicious and politically useful. To have Donald Trump and his cronies tell it, most immigrants are gang members or drug smugglers at worst and criminally dishonest at best, always looking to cheat the system. It's that latter charge that's become the basis for the administration's efforts to skirt legal protections for migrant families and children. It has argued that migrants shouldn’t be allowed an asylum "loophole" because many lie about their past. And the administration claims immigrants don't deserve a fair hearing in immigration court because they have no interest in having their cases heard. But a new analysis of attendance rates in nearly 47,000 recent family immigration cases challenges the Trump administration's narrative. The report shows that most immigrants do, in fact, show up for their day in court. In Miami, about 75 percent of recently released migrant families made it to all of their hearings — that's just a hair shy of the national appearance rate of more than 80 percent, according to a report released earlier this week by the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse at Syracuse University. The report, which analyzed every family unit since they began being tracked in September 2018, shows that adding an immigration attorney into the mix made migrant families even likelier to show up. In Miami, which had the second highest volume of family cases, some 97 percent of families with legal help attended all of their hearings. Nationwide, 99 percent of represented families did.

Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse, Syracuse University
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