Representation is Key in Immigration Proceedings Involving Women with Children
(18 Feb 2015) New data tracking the processing of "women with children" cases by the Immigration Court's new priority docketing system provide details on how these cases are proceeding. As of the end of January 2015, a total of 26,342 removal proceedings involving women with children had been flagged by the courts for priority scheduling. All of these women had already passed their initial "credible fear" screening and had been placed in formal removal proceedings.

An analysis of these case-by-case court records by the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC) at Syracuse University reveals that women are represented by an attorney in such matters only 26.9 percent of the time. Almost all of the 7,740 cases on which a decision had been reached were cases without representation. Even though they had been able to demonstrate "credible fear" of returning to their own country, deportation was ordered for 98.5 percent of women with children who were not represented by an attorney; only 1.5 percent were allowed to remain in the country.

In the small number (475) of cases concluded where an attorney was present, 26.3 percent have been allowed to stay and 73.7 percent have been ordered deported. Data for the analysis were obtained by TRAC from the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).

Most cases (98%) flagged as "adults with children" originate in four countries: Honduras (41%), El Salvador (25%), Guatemala (18%) and Mexico (14%). Nearly half of all cases were being handled in just five of the more than 50 Immigration Courts around the country: Houston, San Francisco, Miami, Baltimore and Dallas. Five additional courts -- San Antonio, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York and Charlotte -- also had over 1,000 of these proceedings on their dockets.

Representation rates varied by location. Among courts that handled more than 1,000 of these priority cases, only in San Antonio did more than half the women have representation (54.3%). Few were represented in Chicago (9.2%), Dallas (10.6%) and Baltimore (13.4%).

For more details, including details for individual Immigration Courts, see the report at:
A key feature of today's report is a unique application: "Priority Immigration Court Cases: Women with Children" which lets you customize the findings for your specific needs -- by state, specific Immigration Court, hearing location, nationality and by other factors. To use the tool, go to:
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