July 19, 2019 – Despite the administration’s rhetoric of deporting “criminals” from this country, the latest data from the Immigration Courts through June 2019 shows only 2.8 percent of recent Department of Homeland Security (DHS) filings based deportability claims on any alleged criminal activity. This is way down from the emphasis on deporting criminals that prevailed a decade ago.
Despite the rising number of ICE interior arrests and individuals who are detained, fewer and fewer immigrants in the Immigration Court’s growing workload are being cited as deportable based upon criminal activity. The total has only reached 7,458 cases during the first nine months of FY 2019. At this filing pace, it is unlikely to reach 10,000 by the end of this fiscal year. In contrast, a decade or more ago immigrants with criminal records or alleged criminal activity involved 30,000 to 40,000 court filings each year – three to four times more.
At ten Immigration Courts less than 0.5 percent of DHS filings this year involved alleged criminal activity as a basis for removal. At the top of this list with the smallest proportion is the Immigration Court based in Houston. Court records there show that only 5 out of 15,063 new filings cited a criminal record as a basis DHS alleged justified the immigrant’s removal. Other courts with extremely low numbers are: Newark, Louisville, New Orleans, and San Diego. At each of these courts less than one out of a thousand (only 0.1%) removal orders sought were based upon alleged criminal activity.
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Additional details can be viewed at TRAC’s free web query tool that provides detailed data by charge on New Deportation Proceedings by month and year from FY 1992 through June 2019.
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