Thursday, April 9, 2020

TRAC Finds Hidden Impact of Removal Proceedings on Rural Communities

Although the Immigration Courts with the largest backlogs of cases are located in large cities, the latest Immigration Court records show that when adjusted for population, many rural counties have higher rates of residents in removal proceedings than urban counties. In fact, of the top 100 US counties with the highest rates of residents in removal proceedings, nearly six in ten (59%) are rural. In these communities, residents facing deportation may find themselves in rural "legal deserts" where there are few qualified immigration attorneys, longer travel times to court, and high rates of poverty.

The Immigration Court data used in this report was obtained and analyzed by the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC) at Syracuse University in response to its Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests to the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR).


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