Monday, May 23, 2022

Fact-check: Do most people released from immigration authorities attend court hearings? YES


Politifact once again rebuts the Republican urban legend that noncitizens released from detention fail to appeal at hearings in immigration court.  It examines the truthfulness of Senator James Lankford's (R-Oklahoma) statement that “[t]he vast majority of individuals that we’re releasing out are not showing up for hearings.”

PolitiFact's ruling: False

Click the link above to look at the explanation of why Senator Lankford's statement, part of President Trump's talking points on immigration, is false.  The punch line:

"There are different ways to track how many immigrants don’t show up to immigration court hearings, and all indicate that a majority of immigrants, including those who are not detained, do attend their hearings. Data from the Justice Department show that in fiscal year 2021 and during the first quarter of 2022, most immigrants attended their hearings.

We rate Lankford’s claim False."


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The situation is almost certain to change now on account of the immigration court backlog crisis. I doubt that it will be possible to keep track of released migrants long enough to be able to notify them of a hearing date when one becomes available.

In any case, enforcement measures were seriously inadequate even before the immigration court backlog crisis reached its current levels.

According to the DHS Fiscal Year 2020 Enforcement Lifecycle Report, migrants who were never detained following their initial encounters were repatriated 30 percent of the time, with 15 percent granted relief and 55 percent unresolved. The largest share of these encounters were still being processed (40 percent) while 11 percent were subject to unexecuted removal orders, including 10 percent subject to in absentia orders.

Migrants who remained continuously in DHS custody between their initial encounter and final enforcement outcome were repatriated 98 percent of the time, with 0.5 percent resulting in relief and 1.5 percent remained unresolved.

Posted by: Rappaport Nolan | May 23, 2022 10:18:16 AM

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