Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Use of Video in Place of In-Person Immigration Court Hearings


TRAC Immigration released a report showing that, during the first quarter of fiscal year 2020 (October - December 2019) one out of every six (17%) of the 57,182 final Immigration Court hearings that concluded an immigrant's case was held by video. This may in fact underestimate the current use of video hearings given apparent limitations in the data.

Court records indicate that video hearings were much more likely if the immigrant was detained. Three out of four (77%) detained master calendar hearings which reached a decision were held over video. Over forty percent (44%) of credible fear and reasonable fear hearings that reached a decision were also held by video. And when a decision on granting bond was reached, one out of three (34%) custody hearings were held by video. The odds of a video hearing were lowest for separate individual hearings scheduled to hear an individual's asylum or other claim for relief from removal.

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