Putting TRAC to Work
  Policy and Public Interest Groups
March 24, 2022

One Third of Immigration Court Cases Are Children, 40% of Those Are Toddlers

Almost one third of all new cases in U.S. immigration courts are children under the age of 18, and of those cases, 40% are toddlers under the age of 4, according to a new report released last week. Since the fiscal year (FY) began in October 2021, slightly less than one in eight Notices to Appear in immigration court were issued to children aged 0-4 These toddlers under 5 make up 12% of all immigration cases so far in FY2022, which runs from October 2021 until September 2023. The Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse, a nonpartisan and nonprofit data gathering, data research, and data distribution organization at Syracuse University, noted that the numbers of children reported by the immigration court system were actually an under-count, because in an additional 15% of cases this year the child’s age was unknown. Additionally, the Department of Justice’s Executive Office for Immigration Review, which houses the immigration courts, stopped tracking information about immigration cases and children in the immigration court specifically during the Trump administration. Independent analysis by TRAC determined that “the data used by the Immigration Court for tracking and reporting on juveniles who are facing deportation appear to be seriously flawed” to the point that it cannot be trusted. Of the known reported numbers, the data showed that 310,359 new immigration court cases have been started so far this fiscal year, with 81,080 of those removal (deportation) hearings being initiated against children under age 18. Of those nearly 82,000 children, 32,691 were age 0-4.

Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse, Syracuse University
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