TRAC's New Web Tool Maps Cases Pending in Immigration Court
The Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC) at Syracuse University has just released a brand new web mapping application that allows the public to examine for the very first time the number of individuals residing in each state, county, and local community within a county, who have pending cases before the Immigration Court.
Using this new interactive web tool, the location of individuals involved in Immigration Court cases can be displayed based upon each individual's recorded home address. Where the individual is detained, the address shown may be that of the detention facility where the individual is being held.
While TRAC's original backlog tool tabulated cases for each Immigration Court and hearing location, each court covers a wide geographic area - sometimes encompassing several states. Thus, only a very gross picture of the location where cases were situated was possible.
TRAC's new mapping tool, in contrast, uses the individualized location where each person appearing before the court currently resides. Users can therefore pinpoint with great precision just where cases are located throughout the country.
Figures 1 and 2 above illustrate the level of detail now available. Shown are California and Texas - two of the country's fifty states that are encompassed in TRAC's new app.
Table 1. Communities With Pending Immigration Court Cases by Residence of Individual*
Pinpointing Where Individuals Reside
The level of geographic detail now available reveals some surprising facts. There are a very large number of communities across the country that now have residents with cases before the Immigration Court. As shown in Table 1, currently pending court cases directly involve residents in 11,894 communities across the country. Indeed, a startling 2,507 separate counties in the United States—more than three out of every four counties (78%)—have residents with cases currently pending before the Immigration Court. And a total of 39 out of the 50 states have 1,000 or more residents now before the Immigration Court.
As shown in Table 1, however, most communities have a relatively small number of individuals with pending cases. For example, roughly half of the counties in the United States have no more than 25 residents with currently pending matters. Ten percent have 200 or more residents with pending cases.
Table 2 lists the 100 local communities - what the U.S. Census Bureau refers to as "county subdivisions" - that currently have the largest number of pending Immigration Court cases. Twenty-two states have communities that make this list. A total of 30 out of these top 100 communities are located in California. New York has twelve. Texas and Florida each have ten. Virginia has eight.
Table 2. Top 100 Communities With Largest Number of Pending Immigration Court Cases by Residence of Individual, as of May 31, 2017
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Leading the list is Houston, Texas with a total of 33,360 pending cases, following by Queens and Brooklyn New York with 25,420 and 14,960 cases respectively. Los Angeles, California with 14,287 pending cases and San Fernando Valley, California with 9,311 pending cases were in fourth and fifth place.
To view the number of pending court cases in each of 50 states, 2,507 counties, and 11,894 communities within these counties, go to TRAC's mapping tool.
TRAC is a nonpartisan, nonprofit data research center affiliated with the Newhouse School of Public Communications and the Whitman School of Management, both at Syracuse University. For more information, to subscribe, or to donate, contact email@example.com or call 315-443-3563.