The concerning number of immigration cases dismissed by immigration courts raises alarm among immigrants and advocates.
A new study from the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC) at Syracuse University has brought to light new data on the number of immigration cases dismissed by the US immigration courts, leaving thousands of migrants in a complex and worrying legal limbo.
In the fiscal year 2022, a new migratory record has been reached since the figure began to be recorded in 2013: now the percentage of rejections is 16.6%, compared to last year, which was 10.5% and the rest of the previous years that the number did not exceed one digit.
According to experts on the subject, everything indicates that the problem is the fault of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), since many officers do not send the so-called Notice to Appear (NTA) to the Immigration Courts. This obstacle in the immigration process means that the immigration case is neither approved nor rejected, but is instead left in bureaucratic limbo.
Results and concerns of the full investigation carried out by TRAC
The Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC) investigation brought with it concern for the future of those undocumented immigrants whose immigration case was dismissed due to this human error, since their asylum applications are in jeopardy.
Mainly, beyond the fact that the DHS files a new NTA for these particular immigration cases and new court hearings are scheduled, what truly worries the United States government is the reason why these dismissals occur so systematically in the first place.
Why did dismissals increase in number since 2021?
Everything indicates that the systematic dismissals of new immigration cases are related to a new way of processing paperwork from the DHS and the Immigration Courts. A new digital tool was implemented, called the Interactive Coordination System (ISS), which seeks to make the process faster and more efficient, automatically generating the NTA.
So far, the ISS seems like an excellent idea, except for one problem: to work properly, it needs a DHS agent to receive a copy of that NTA. That is where the process begins to fail since the state agency has not been able to ensure that this happens in many cases. There is a major flaw in the series of agents and agencies involved, which blocks the entire process and causes thousands of undocumented immigrants to be dismissed for missing paperwork.
Will anything be done to fix it?
This whole issue is a problem not only for the immigrant community and asylum seekers, but also for the government. Immigration Courts and the DHS are already overworked, and these obstacles in the process are a great waste of resources, time, and money.
For immigrants in particular, who are truly affected, the dismissal of their immigration cases means placing them in a situation of great vulnerability. The courts are already a very complex and difficult part of the path toward migratory regularization due to delays and injustices, and now, it is even more deficient.
That is why it is imperative that the corresponding authorities take action on the matter and keep in mind the figures and the new migratory record presented by the TRAC analysis. Having access to this alarming numbers is also a great opportunity to become aware of the depth of the problem and the terrible consequences it can have for many migrants.
If you are in need of immigration legal advice, do not hesitate to contact us! At the Law Office of Shelle-Ann Simon we have wide experience in immigration proceedings, family law, and personal injury and have successfully defended our clients for over 10 years. Contact us through our website or give us a call at (281) 606-0800!