Immigration Court Completions Remain at Historic Lows Through July 2020
The partial shutdown of the Immigration Court in the wake of COVID-19 has already impacted hundreds of thousands of immigrants awaiting their day in court. For the Court's current active backlog of 1,233,307 immigrants waiting for their cases to be heard, canceled hearings due to COVID-19 are increasing hearing delays for months and often years to come.
Monthly case completions before the March shutdown were running over 40,000. During January 2020, for example, they were 42,045 and in February completions were 41,793. During the period from April to July they fell precipitously to around 6,000. In July 2020, only 5,960 cases were completed. See Figure 1.
Figure 1. Immigration Court Case Completions by Month, January - July 2020
(Click for larger image)
In contrast between April and July 2020 a total of 111,752 new Notices to Appear issued by the Department of Homeland Security were recorded as received by the Immigration Court. A much larger number—some 347,450 immigrants—were still waiting for their initial or "master calendar" hearing.
Where Are Case Completions Taking Place?
During July, 196 hearing locations completed cases. Leading the list with 216 case completions was Miami, Florida. This is not primarily a detained location although it does handle hearings for some detained immigrants (EOIR's website indicates it is currently open only for filings and detained hearings only). Only one other location—Baltimore, Maryland—completed at least 200 cases. While Baltimore is also not primarily a detained location, it is currently fully open.
A dozen hearing sites completed at least 100 cases. Of these only five were detained locations. These detained hearing locations were: Port Isabel Service Processing Center in Texas, the Northwest Detention Center in Washington, the Bluebonnet Detention Center in Texas, the Adelanto Detention Facility West in California, and the Eloy INS Detention Center in Arizona.
Two of the remaining non-detained locations are currently fully open: Chicago, Illinois and Newark, New Jersey. Two others are open only to hear detained cases: New York City and Los Angeles. The remaining site with at least 100 cases during July 2020 was the Port of Entry in Laredo, Texas, which disposed of 147 immigrants who were required to remain in Mexico under Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP).
Table 1 below contains a complete listing of Immigration Court hearing locations which completed cases during July.
Table 1. Immigration Court Case Completions by Hearing Location, July 2020
 This hearing site is located at: 333 South Miami Ave., Ste. 700.
 The hearing site for Baltimore is located at: 31 Hopkins Plaza, Room 440.
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