Use of Video in Place of In-Person Immigration Court Hearings
(28 Jan 2020) During the first quarter of fiscal year 2020 (October - December 2019) one out of every six (17%) of the 57,182 final Immigration Court hearings that concluded an immigrant's case was held by video. This may in fact underestimate the current use of video hearings given apparent limitations in the data.

Court records indicate that video hearings were much more likely if the immigrant was detained. Three out of four (77%) detained master calendar hearings which reached a decision were held over video. Over forty percent (44%) of credible fear and reasonable fear hearings that reached a decision were also held by video. And when a decision on granting bond was reached, one out of three (34%) custody hearings were held by video. The odds of a video hearing were lowest for separate individual hearings scheduled to hear an individual's asylum or other claim for relief from removal.

The Houston Service Processing Center headed the list with the largest recorded number of video hearings during last quarter. Virtually all of its 818 hearings were by video. The second largest number of video hearings was conducted in the Polk County Detention Facility in Texas. The third largest recorded number of video hearings were conducted with detained immigrants at the Chicago Court.

Surprisingly, MPP hearing locations did not rank highly. Figures in this report were compiled from court records obtained through a series of Freedom of Information Act requests by the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse at Syracuse University from the Executive Office for Immigration Review. Unfortunately, despite the use of video in hearings conducted in so-called tent cities as part of the MPP (Remain in Mexico) program, those hearings weren't typically identified as video hearings in these court records.

For further details including how often video was used in final hearings held at each Immigration Court location, read the full report at:

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