The latest case-by-case records from the Immigration Courts indicate that as of the end of May 2019 one or more removal hearings had already been held for nearly 47,000 newly arriving families seeking refuge in this country. Of these, almost six out of every seven families released from custody had shown up for their initial court hearing. Usually multiple hearings are required before a case is decided. For those who are represented, more than 99 percent had appeared at every hearing held. See Figure 1. Thus, court records directly contradict the widely quoted claim that “90 Percent of Recent Asylum Seekers Skipped Their Hearings.”
Figure 1. Attendance at Immigration Court Hearings
by Families After Release
(Click for a graphic)
Under our current system, there is no legal requirement that immigrants actually receive notice, let alone timely notice, of their hearing. Given many problems in court records on attendance and in the system for notifying families of the place and time of their hearings, these appearance rates were remarkably high.
This is an excerpt of a report by TRAC at Syracuse University. The view the full report click here.