TRAC Updates Immigration Court Backlog Tool as Part of Broader Redesign Efforts
(01 Feb 2023) The Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC) at Syracuse University released a thoroughly redesigned version of its online interactive Immigration Court Backlog App today, allowing the public to see more detail about cases pending in the U.S. Immigration Courts. These design and usability improvements, along with much expanded data options, are part of broader redesign efforts at TRAC that are reflected across a wide range of immigration tools that are essential for researchers, journalists, policymakers, government employees, and the public.

TRAC’s previous Immigration Court Backlog App (still available here) was one of TRAC’s earliest online apps, and has served as the only consistent source of data on the Immigration Court backlog. The design reflected the needs and limitations of a time when processing power under the hood was more constrained, which limited the variables TRAC could include. The design also reflected a pre-smartphone and pre-tablet era when the main compatibility concern was browser types, not screen sizes. Like TRAC’s other app designs, the backlog tool itself proved to be remarkably robust, with virtually no down time. But as the backlog continues to grow—now with over two million cases—we wanted to make the tool even more useful by adding more data options and make it scalable for smaller screens.

TRAC’s new Immigration Court Backlog App now includes more than fiscal years, states, Immigration Court locations, and nationality. The added drop-down menus include data on language, gender, age, attorney representation, hearing type, custody status, and immigration hearing location. Further information about the data in the app can be found at the app’s About the Data page.

TRAC’s update to the backlog app is part of broader redesign efforts. The app has a new home in TRAC’s redesigned immigration tools landing page, which also adopts a similar design and works much better on mobile screens. Tools that have also been updated to this new design include TRAC’s Asylum Decisions app, TRAC’s Asylum Backlog app, TRAC’s Asylum Filings app, and TRAC’s Judge-by-Judge Asylum Decisions. TRAC’s Quick Facts pages for immigrant detention (including Alternatives to Detention or ATD) and the Immigration Courts have also been updated to the new design.

These improvements would not have been possible without the hard work and expertise of our entire team for their commitment to improving TRAC’s user experience.

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