DHS’ failure to file paperwork has led to 200K immigration court cases tossed under President Biden: TRAC

Since President Biden has been in office, immigration judges have thrown out approximately 200,000 deportation cases because the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) did not file the required “Notice to Appear” (NTA) by the time of the scheduled hearing, according to a report published Wednesday.

The report from Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC), which tracks immigration case data and backlogs, includes DHS’ records up through February 2024.

As noted by TRAC, a nonpartisan data gathering organization, DHS’ duty to file an NTA in immigration court is a crucial step in the immigration enforcement process.

The NTA spells out why DHS believes a particular immigrant should be deported, and acts as a formal request for an immigration judge to use a removal order.

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Hundreds of migrants, predominantly from Venezuela, cross the Rio Grande with the intention of seeking humanitarian asylum by crossing the border between Mexico and the United States in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico on December 05, 2023. (David Peinado/Anadolu via Getty Images)

TRAC reports that DHS’ failure to file an NTA before a scheduled hearing was rare, but that increased once Border Patrol agents and other DHS personnel were given access to the immigration court’s Interactive Scheduling System.

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This created problems where DHS employees could schedule immigration court hearings sooner than the agency could file the NTA. The court would then schedule a case that didn’t technically exist, wasting valuable time while staring down some 3.5 million pending immigration cases.

In turn, immigrants would be left in legal limbo. Those who might show up to a court hearing would have no legal means to make an asylum claim, which they need to obtain work permits.

An illegal immigrant is arrested by Immigration and Customs Enforcement. (Fox News)

The situation varied across the United States, but TRAC found Houston and Miami were notable hot spots, constituting around 50% or more of new cases dismissed since Fiscal Year 2021.

Though this situation is continuing into 2024, TRAC notes that court dismissals for lack of an NTA peaked in 2022 but dipped in 2023.

Fox News Digital has reached out to the DHS for a response to TRAC’s report.

Bradford Betz is a Fox News Digital breaking reporter covering crime, political issues, and much more. 

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