Immigration Processing Delays Prompt Record Number of Mandamus Lawsuits in Federal Court
(15 May 2023) The federal government is facing a flurry of immigration-related civil lawsuits in court. In February 2023 alone, the federal civil courts recorded 943 immigration-related lawsuits, the highest immigration-related lawsuits for any single month on record. So far in FY 2023, from October to February, the courts recorded 4,175 total civil immigration filings. At this rate, the total number of filings for the year is estimated to exceed 10,000, a new record.

This growth in immigration lawsuits has been driven primarily by what are known as mandamus lawsuits, or lawsuits that are typically filed when the government fails to take action on a variety of immigration-related applications. Prior to 2021, mandamus lawsuits typically made up less than 30 percent of the overall number of immigration suits and never more than 1,300 in a single year. In 2021, however, mandamus lawsuits jumped to 2,719, making up 48.1 percent of all immigration suits. In 2022, this jumped again to 5,284 (64.7% of the total) and is projected to reach nearly 7,000 by the end of FY 2023. This represents more than two-thirds (68.5%) of all immigration lawsuits filed in federal court.

The latest month for which TRAC has data, February 2023, saw the number of mandamus lawsuits reach its second highest ever at 655. Other immigration lawsuits (not including mandamus lawsuits) have also climbed from 113 in January 2021 to 228 in February 2023, their highest month ever. Since many of these lawsuits also challenge procedural matters at immigration agencies, including USCIS, these record numbers also signal dissatisfaction in the administration processing of immigration-related matters.

Since TRAC reported on this growth in July 2022, the number of immigration lawsuits grew faster than expected. In fact, TRAC’s previous projection of just over 6,000 immigration lawsuits for FY 2022 fell far short of the 8,162 that were actually filed by the end of the year. It’s possible, therefore, that current projections could again fall short of reality.

For more details, read the full report at:

Each month, TRAC offers a report focused on one area of civil litigation in the U.S. district courts. In addition, subscribers to the TRACFed data service can generate custom reports by district, office, nature of suit or federal jurisdiction with data updated through February 2023. To start, go to:

If you want to be sure to receive a notification whenever updated data become available, sign up at:

Follow us on Twitter at:

or like us on Facebook:

TRAC is self-supporting and depends on foundation grants, individual contributions and subscription fees for the funding needed to obtain, analyze and publish the data we collect on the activities of the US Federal government. To help support TRAC's ongoing efforts, go to:

Customized queries of TRAC's data TRAC FBI Web Site TRAC DEA Web Site TRAC Immigration Web Site TRAC IRS Web Site TRAC ATF Web Site TRAC Reports Web Site FOIA Project Web Site
Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse, Syracuse University
Copyright 2023
TRAC What's New TRAC