Monday, October 18, 2010

700% Increase in Dismissed Cases at Houston Immigration Court

The Houston Chronicle has reported that after Department of Homeland Security attorneys began a review of immigration cases in Houston, Immigration Judges dismissed more than 200 deportation cases, a 700% increase over the previous month.

Executive Office for Immigration Review data reveals that this August Houston Immigration Judges dismissed 217 cases.  There were only 27 dismissals in July prior to the review. In September, Immigration Judges dismissed 174 deportation cases.  It has been estimated that 45% of 350 cases decided in the Houston Immigration Court were dismissed by Immigration Judges in the month of September.

EOIR liaison Raed Gonzalez confirms that Government attorneys in Houston have been instructed to look at each individual case and consider moving to terminate proceedings if it is determined that the immigrant has lived in the U.S. for at least two years and has no serious criminal history. This includes having no felony or misdemeanor convictions involving DWI, sex crimes or domestic violence.

It will be very interesting to see if this trend spreads to immigration courts outside of Texas.  I'll keep you posted.

Click here to read the full Houston Chronicle report.

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