December 2, 2019 – The latest available data from the federal courts show that during October 2019 the government reported 367 new civil immigration lawsuits were filed. According to the case-by-case information analyzed by the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC) at Syracuse University covering monthly filings since October 2007, this number ties the previous all-time high when 367 suits were also filed back in December 2016. In general, immigration litigation has been rising. Lawsuits are up 15.4 percent over the previous month when the number of civil filings of this type totaled 318. And they are almost double the number of filings from five years ago.

The U.S. government is almost always the defendant when civil immigration suits are filed in federal court. Common causes of action are those involving visa and naturalization1 applications — often complaining because federal officials have been dragging their feet and not acting on them. Such suits seek to compel the federal government to rule on them. On occasion lawsuits challenge the decisions that have been issued and seek to reverse those decisions. Other suits challenge the continued detention of a noncitizen. A small handful challenge deportation itself.

The Eastern District of New York (Brooklyn) led the nation with the largest number of immigration lawsuits filed in October 2019. Forty-six (46) lawsuits were filed in that district. This was followed by the Central District of California with 37 suits, and the District of Columbia with 32.

To read the full report, including statistics for each of the 47 federal judicial districts with new immigration filings, go to:

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 October 2019. To start, go to:

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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:

The Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse is a nonpartisan joint research center of the Whitman School of Management ( and the Newhouse School of Public Communications ( at Syracuse University.