(CNN Spanish) — At least 47,300 cases were dismissed in US immigration courts in the first nine months of the current fiscal year because the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) did not send the necessary notices to the courts, according to a report published this Friday by Syracuse University’s Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC), which tracks data from these courts.
According to this report, one in six new cases in the country —on average— was dismissed for that reason between October 2021 and June 2022, which is equivalent to 16.6%. In the previous fiscal year, 15,244 cases were dismissed, which represented 10.5%.
CNN has not independently verified the data underlying the TRAC report, which it said was obtained from FOIA requests.
DHS did not respond Friday to a request for comment sent by CNN. We have also not received a response from Customs and Border Protection (CBP).
According to the TRAC report, the problem arises when Border Patrol agents, part of the Department of Homeland Security, issue Notices to Appear (NTAs), which are documents with instructions for those who must appear before an immigration judge, which marks the beginning of your removal proceedings.
According to the report, although the officials use a digital tool that allows them to create the NTA and – supposedly – schedule the court date at the same time, they should also ensure that the courts have that information, so there is a ” serious disconnect between the agents” who enter new cases and schedule hearings through the system, and “other personnel responsible for sending a copy to the court”.
“This is an excessive waste of court time. It is also problematic for the immigrant (and possibly their attorney) if they show up at the hearings and the judge dismisses the case because the documents have not been filed with the court,” he says. the report.
Although TRAC maintains that it was unable to identify the specific places where failures to send documents to the courts occur, it pointed out that there are immigration courts such as those in Miami, where 81% of the cases in the current fiscal year they have been dismissed for that reason, while in others -such as San Francisco- the number of cases was lower and only reached 11%.