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Immigration Judges Increase Pace of Deportations

With the expansion of the ranks of immigration judges in the Biden administration, court-ordered deportations in the first half of fiscal 2024 exceeded 2019's peak removals by 50%, with 136,623 immigrants deported, a new report finds. The report by Syracuse University's Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse is based on recently recently obtained records of deportations for immigrants already residing in the U.S. who were deported or ordered deported. TRAC's report focused on those cases that had gone through immigration court proceedings. Future reports will examine where immigrants lived and other demographics of those deported.


The greatest numbers of deportation orders generally came from the nation's largest cities, but with some variations. New York City led with just under 11,000, followed by Harris County, Texas (Houston), with more than 8,000 and Los Angeles County with 6,000. Counties in Texas, California and Florida filled out more of the top positions, some because of the location of detention facilities where some cases are heard. While the pace of deportations picks up, fewer immigrants have been able to fight their deportations with legal representation, TRAC found. Since fiscal 2021, "representation rates have plummeted as removal hearings climbed," the report states. Last year, those rates fell to 20% and in the first half of fiscal 2024 to 15%. Those rates vary greatly by location, TRAC found, with Austin residents facing the worst odds, and California's Orange and Los Angeles counties ranking above average, but only with 26%. The average time to complete court cases was two and a half years.

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A daily report co-sponsored by Arizona State University, Criminal Justice Journalists, and the National Criminal Justice Association

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