On August 8, 2017, the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) released a document titled “Return to Rule of Law in Trump Administration Marked by Increase in Key Immigration Statistics” [PDF version].
The document includes a few interesting statistics from the immigration courts for the period spanning from February 1, 2017 to July 31, 2017.
According to the EOIR, 49,983 total orders of removal were issued in the six-month period covered. This is up from 39,113 orders of removal issued in the same period in 2016, making for a 27.8 percent increase.
The EOIR stated that 57,069 total orders of removal and voluntary departures were issued in the six-month period, making for a 30.9 percent increase over the 43,595 issued in the same period in 2016.
Finally, the EOIR reported 73,127 “final decisions” in the six month period, meaning a situation in which a case ends at the immigration judge level such that the case is no longer pending. This represents a 14.5 percent increase from the 63,850 final decisions issued in the same period in 2016.
The EOIR attributed the increase in part to President Donald Trump's January 25, 2017 Executive Order titled “Border Security and Immigration Enforcement Improvements” [see article on memo on the Order]. In response to the Order, the Department of Justice (DOJ), of which the EOIR is part, moved existing immigration judges to detention facilities across the United States [see blog]. The DOJ also hired 54 immigration judges since President Trump took office.
The statistics are interesting, although limited in scope. What is clear, however, is that the Trump Administration has taken a more aggressive stance on immigration enforcement than had been taken in the past few years [see article on enforcement priorities]. An individual facing proceedings in immigration court should consult with an experienced immigration attorney immediately to ensure that his or her rights and interests are protected in the adjudicative process.