Prosecutorial Discretion Closed 1 in 4 Cases in Several Immigration Courts

by Sabrina I. Pacifici on August 12, 2013

“During the month of July 2013, ICE exercised prosecutorial discretion (PD) and agreed to close a total of 1,382 deportation cases that were pending before the Immigration Courts. This brings the total to 23,063 court closures over the past 19 months since the PD initiative began. The Seattle, San Diego, and Charlotte Immigration Courts had the highest rate of PD closures among those courts with substantial backlogs. Relative to their respective backlog numbers at the end of September 2012, each of those courts has closed 24 percent of their cases through the program. Nationally, PD has been used to close an average of only 7 percent of cases. Even including the PD initiative, court disposals across the country from all sources have still been unable to keep up with the overall workload. As a result, the backlog in the Immigration Courts, rather than shrinking, has continued to climb. At the end of July 2013 it reached a new high of 342,189 pending cases, up from 325,044 at the end of fiscal year 2012. View the latest numbers for each court under the prosecutorial discretion program.”

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