DOJ Releases Statistics on Immigration Judge Surge

Written by Alexander J. Segal on

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On October 4, 2017, the Department of Justice (DOJ) issued Press Release 17-1100 titled “Justice Department Releases Statistics on the Impact of Immigration Judge Surge” [PDF version].

In Executive Order 13767 [see article], President Donald Trump directed the U.S. Attorney General to assign immigration judges to detention facilities. The DOJ began to implement this provision of Executive Order 13767 shortly after its issuance on January 25, 2017. In the press release, the DOJ states that its Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) has released statistics on the impact of the immigration judge surge.

Immigration Judge Surge

The DOJ stated that over 100 immigration judges have been detailed to detention facilities as a result of Executive Order 13767, including to facilities situated along the U.S.-Mexico border. Immigration judges have been mobilized to these facilities in person and via video teleconferencing (VTC).

The EOIR estimated that the mobilized immigration judges “completed approximately 2,700 more cases than expected if [they] had not been detailed.” The EOIR concluded that the completed cases by the mobilized immigration judges “outpaced home court deferrals…” Specifically, the EOIR found that the mobilized immigration judges “completed approximately 21 percent more cases on detail than the historical, expected performance of nondetailed immigration judges at the same base locations.” Accordingly, the EOIR determined that the immigration judge surge has had a positive effect on the nationwide immigration caseload.

After reviewing the data, the acting Director of EOIR, James McHenry, expressed satisfaction with the result of the immigration judge surge.

We recently published an article that suggested there were problems with the early implementation of the immigration judge surge according to some of the mobilized immigration judges. Please see the full blog to read about a variety of views on the implementation of the mobilization [see blog].