|(20 Aug 2020)
The partial shutdown of the Immigration Court in the wake of COVID-19 has already impacted hundreds of thousands of immigrants awaiting their day in court. For the Court's current active backlog of 1,233,307 immigrants waiting for their cases to be heard, canceled hearings due to COVID-19 are increasing hearing delays for months and often years to come.
Monthly case completions before the March shutdown were running over 40,000. During January 2020, for example, they were 42,045 and in February completions were 41,793. During the period from April to July they fell precipitously to around 6,000. In July 2020, only 5,960 cases were completed.
In contrast between April and July 2020 a total of 111,752 new Notices to Appear issued by the Department of Homeland Security were recorded as received by the Immigration Court. A much larger number—some 347,450 immigrants—were still waiting for their initial or "master calendar" hearing.
During July, 196 hearing locations completed cases. Most of these completed only a few cases. Only a dozen hearing sites completed at least 100 cases. Of these dozen sites only five were detained locations. The remaining Immigration Court hearing locations were sometimes open to hear all cases, while others were limited to hearings just detained cases.
Leading the list with 216 case completions was Miami, Florida. This is not primarily a detained location; EOIR reports it is currently open only for filings and detained hearings. Only one other location—Baltimore, Maryland—completed at least 200 cases during July. It is currently fully open and hearing both detained and non-detained cases.
To read the full report, including a complete list of the 196 hearing locations that completed cases during July 2020 go to:
TRAC's free web query tools which track Immigration Court proceedings have also been updated through July 2020. For an index to the full list of TRAC's immigration tools and their latest update go to:
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