Executive Office for Immigration Review Releases Court Statistics, Announces Transparency Initiative
The Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) today released immigration court statistics through the first two quarters of Fiscal Year 2018 (FY18). Today’s release of certain immigration court statistics is the first step in an effort to increase transparency into the immigration court system by releasing immigration court data on a recurring basis.
“Releasing immigration court data to the American public introduces accountability to a system that has been neglected for years,” said EOIR Director James McHenry. “We are proud to announce today’s initial release of data and the commitment to a recurring release of EOIR’s full database, as we continue to make common-sense reforms that creates an immigration court system that serves the national interest.”
Highlights from today’s released data include the following:
- EOIR is beginning to reverse a downward trajectory of completions despite historic levels of new cases, less cases closed due to administrative closure, and an increase in recalendared cases. Last year, EOIR completed more cases than any year since FY12, and is on pace to complete approximately 184,000 cases by the end of FY18.
- The projected decrease of Inactive Pending Cases, which are not currently on the active docket following an immigration judge’s order of administrative closure. Inactive Pending Cases grew by nearly 75,000 cases from the end of FY15 to the end of FY17, but are expected to decline by 2 percent by the end of FY18. This would mark the first decrease in Inactive Pending Cases in at least ten fiscal years.
- The number of removal orders in absentia for cases in which an asylum application has been filed is projected to increase by approximately 40 percent by the end of FY18. The overall number of in absentia removal orders is projected to increase by 10% by the end of FY18 and by nearly 40 percent over FY16.
- Median Completion Time for Detained Cases is expected to decrease 7.5 percent, which would mark the second year of decline in a row following nine years of increases.
- Defensive asylum applications, including cases where an alien passed a credible fear screening, increased by almost 100,000 between FY12 and FY17; however, the number of defensive asylum applications granted increased by only about 4,000 over the same time period. The nationwide grant rate for all asylum applications is approximately 22 percent.
- UAC cases have increased by almost 1,300 percent since FY12, though EOIR is adjudicating Pending UAC Cases at a faster rate than previous years. Pending UAC Cases are projected to increase by approximately 14 percent. At the end of FY14, EOIR had 177 percent more pending cases than the prior fiscal year. In the next two fiscal years combined (i.e., FY15 and FY16), EOIR added 32,852 Pending UAC Cases, which totals nearly 43 percent of the current Pending UAC Case total. Almost two-thirds of UAC cases have been pending for at least one year, and 11 percent have been pending for over three years.
EOIR will release this and other data on a recurring basis, and the data will contain appropriate redactions for privacy concerns. The full upload of the data is expected within the next two weeks. EOIR staff frequently enter and update information into the case database, so the statistics provided are subject to change.
Immigration court statistics through Q2 FY18 can be found here.