Nearly 1.3 Million Asylum Cases Now Pending in Immigration Court
(10 May 2024) According to the latest immigration court data analyzed by TRAC at Syracuse University, almost 1.3 million immigrants with pending deportation cases (out of almost 3.6 million total pending cases) have filed asylum applications with the court as of the end of April 2024.

The growth in the immigration court backlog from 2.8 million at the end of FY 2023 to its current total of 3,596,317 cases comes alongside both record numbers of new cases filed in court and record numbers of case completions by immigration judges. So far this current fiscal year, DHS has added over 1.3 million new cases to the court’s docket, while judges have completed just over half a million (517,675). Although judges are unable to keep up with the flow of new cases into the courts, immigration judges are collectively on track to complete more cases than ever by the end of this year.

Of the completed cases, immigration judges have issued removal orders (i.e., deportation orders) or voluntary departure orders in 35.7 percent of all cases. A voluntary departure order requires the immigrant to leave the country within a certain period of time to avoid incurring more serious legal consequences. If the individual does not leave the country or is found to have reentered unlawfully, the voluntary departure order becomes a removal order, making the individual removeable by immigration authorities.

Crucially, just 13.9 percent of all immigrants ordered deported in April 2024 (including unaccompanied children) had an attorney at the time the deportation order was issued. TRAC recently reported on the overall decline in legal representation (see report here).

Highlights from the updated immigration data include the following, also available on TRAC’s Immigration Court Quick Facts page:

  • Immigration Courts recorded receiving 1,305,443 new cases so far in FY 2024 as of April 2024. This compares with 517,675 cases that the court completed during this period.

  • According to court records, only 0.38% of FY 2024 new cases sought deportation orders based on any alleged criminal activity of the immigrant, apart from possible illegal entry.

  • At the end of April 2024, 3,596,317 active cases were pending before the Immigration Court.

  • At the end of April 2024, out of the total backlog of 3,596,317 cases, 1,278,654 immigrants have already filed formal asylum applications and are now waiting for asylum hearings or decisions in Immigration Court.

  • Miami-Dade County, FL, has the most residents with pending Immigration Court deportation cases (as of the end of April 2024).

  • So far this fiscal year (through April 2024), immigration judges have issued removal and voluntary departure orders in 35.7% of completed cases, totaling 170,165 deportation orders.

  • Among Immigration Court cases completed in April 2024, immigrants in Colorado had the highest proportion ordered removed. Vermont residents had the lowest proportion ordered removed.

  • So far in FY 2024 (through April 2024), immigrants from Honduras top list of nationalities with largest number ordered deported.

  • Only 13.9% of immigrants, including unaccompanied children, had an attorney to assist them in Immigration Court cases when a removal order was issued in April 2024.

  • Immigration judges have held 15,548 bond hearings so far in FY 2024 (through April 2024). Of these 4,644 were granted bond.

TRAC’s Immigration Quick Facts provides the latest data on immigrant detention, immigration court cases, and immigration prosecutions in federal court. Each page includes several key data points alongside a graphic or table, a short description for context, and a link to more data. Visit for more information.

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