How immigration officials cooked the books and fooled Congress for years

How immigration officials cooked the books and fooled Congress for years

[Ed. – What phase of the Obama government didn’t cook the books?]

A recent Justice Department report on U.S. immigration courts provides a rare glimpse into the difficulties faced by the Trump administration as it repairs the damages inflicted on these tribunals over the last 20 years.

But give credit to the courts’ new executive, James McHenry. Early on, he identified the need for transparency and has made accurate disclosure of court business one of his agency’s highest priorities. Candor, if not reform, demands no less.

It’s a good start for an executive whose predecessors often avoided—and sometimes denied—the truth about the courts’ troubling dynamics. Yet the courts limped along, their annual reports masking a systemic dysfunction never shared with Congress.

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While transparency won’t cure the dysfunction, it should identify obvious areas for reform—among them failures to appear in court.

From 1996 through 2016, just under half of all aliens who were set free pending a trial date—1.25 million in total—were ordered removed, i.e. deported. Of that number, 952,291 were removed for evading court. Less than a quarter of this same group actually appeared in court.

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