Immigration court cases now involve more long-time residents, according to this report.
The latest available data from the Immigration Court reveals a sharp uptick in the proportion of immigration court cases involving immigrants who have been living in the U.S. for years. During March 2018, for example, court records show that only 10% of immigrants in new cases brought by the Department of Homeland Security had just arrived in this country while 43% had arrived two or more years ago, and 25% at least four years ago,
In contrast, the proportion of individuals who had just arrived in new filings during the last full month of the Obama Administration (December 2016) made up 72%, and only 6% had been here at least two years. During the period between May 2013 and February 2017 over 75% of all court cases involved those who had only recently arrived. During this period the Obama Administration had prioritized recent illegal entrants to the country. Faced with a growing court backlog and not enough judges to hear and decide new cases, DHS believed this focus would serve as a more effective deterrent. Concentrating limited resources in this manner naturally increased the odds that recent illegal entrants and over-stayers would be promptly deported.
The top 25% of cases in terms of length in the U.S. were about this long in the U.S. at a minimum:
2000 – 2003 about 6 years
2004 – 2005 about 3 years
2006 – 2012 8 years or higher
2013 – 2016 rapidly descended to and stayed at zero years.
TheMigration Policy Institute wrote, “the Obama-era policies represented the culmination of a gradual but consistent effort to narrow its enforcement focus to two key groups: The deportation of criminals and recent unauthorized border crossers. Eighty-five percent of all removals and returns during fiscal year (FY) 2016 were of noncitizens who had recently crossed the U.S. border unlawfully. Of the remainder, who were removed from the U.S. interior, more than 90 percent had been convicted of what DHS defines as serious crimes.”
2017 rapidly rose to 4 years.
Note that these figure are not for deportations but for being brought before an immigration court.