ICE Success in Obtaining Removal Orders Drops to 50%
(13 Feb 2014) Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has had diminishing success in convincing Immigration Judges to issue removal orders. Such orders are now granted only about 50 percent of the time, the lowest level since systematic tracking began more than 20 years ago. For years, the rate at which removal orders were granted in response to DHS requests had fluctuated between 70 and 80 percent. For example, five years ago deportation orders were issued for 3 out of every 4 cases (76.2%) to reach the Immigration Courts. During FY 2011 that rate had fallen to 70.2 percent; by FY 2012 it had slipped to fewer than 2 out of 3 (62.6%). Last year court records indicated a 52.9 percent success rate, and during the first four months of the current fiscal year 2014 (October 2013 - January 2014) it was down to only 50.3 percent.

In practical terms, this means that so far this year deportation was ordered in just half of the 42,816 proceedings. In each of the remaining half, the judge concluded that the noncitizen was entitled to remain in this country either permanently or at least for the foreseeable future. Thus, there is little evidence that DHS has succeeded in doing a better job at screening cases before they reach the court stage. Instead, its efforts are yielding diminishing results.

Results varied widely by state: ICE's success rate was highest in Georgia (81.0%), Louisiana (80.2%) and Utah (74.3%). The lowest rates were seen in California (38.5%), New York (29%) and Oregon (22.8%).

To view annual trends as well the top ten states during FY 2014, see latest TRAC snapshot report at:
To view rates for any state, immigration court, hearing location or nationality go to:
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