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The Immigration Today
August 3, 2022

New Report Reveals Widespread Failures by DHS To Prosecute Immigration Court Cases
By Immigration Team

There has been a dramatic increase in cases being closed for this reason in the last year. According to TRAC, this seems to coincide with when CBP itself was given the responsibility of filing the NTAs with the courts, as opposed to ICE. However, around the same time the process was also centralized, using the relatively new electronic EOIR Courts and Appeals System (ECAS) filing system, which should make filing the NTAs a simple process. The effects on the courts vary widely. The Miami “Dedicated Docket” set up for asylum seekers arriving from the border has had an extraordinary 81% of cases so far in 2022 closed due to the lack of a filed NTA. While not universal, it seems that the Dedicated Dockets are more likely to be affected than the regular dockets, even in the same city. The Dedicated Dockets program began in May 2021. The departments of Homeland Security and Justice promoted the program as a way to speed up immigration court cases. Dedicated Dockets are in 10 cities and 11 courts (there are two in New York City). Besides Miami, the Boston Dedicated Docket had 62% of its cases closed for lack of a filed NTA, with Denver, New York, El Paso, and Los Angeles Dedicated Dockets all over the national average for closed cases as well. Yet other courts in New York, for example, had far fewer cases closed for this reason. Because the data only shows the court where the case was closed, but not which CBP offices are involved, TRAC was unable to determine if there was a pattern of specific CBP field offices responsible. Whether it is one field office or several that are responsible, it is clear that CBP is failing to complete a basic administrative task that is affecting tens of thousands of people this year.

Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse, Syracuse University
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