The Transactional Access Clearinghouse at Syracuse University reports that the number of cases sitting in immigration courts across the country has risen to an all-time high and that the percentage of removal cases arising from a crime-based removal ground has dropped. TRAC, Immigration Backlog, Wait Times, Keep Rising (July 19, 2012). At the end of June 2012, TRAC’s analysis found, there were 314,147 immigration cases pending nationwide. On average, cases are now completed in 526 days, up from 489 days at the end of fiscal year 2011 and 447 days at the end of FY 2010.
Of special relevance to crImmigration aficionados, the percentage of removal cases in which the respondent is charged with removability on the basis of a crime-related ground has dropped: it is now at 7.9% of cases as opposed to 8.3% at the end of FY 2011 and 9.1% at the end of FY 2010. TRAC’s “Immigration Court Backlog Tool,” an easy-to-use tool for sorting TRAC’s data, indicates that crime-based removal cases are completed in an average of 453 days, with immigration courts in California taking the longest of any state (619 days) followed by Illinois immigration courts (566 days). Crime-based cases against Mexican respondents take 437 days to be completed, below the average for all nationalities of 453 days.