Nearly half of immigrants who choose to fight their deportations are winning their cases. That is the analysis of a study conducted by the Transactional Records Clearinghouse at Syracuse University, reports website AllGov.com.
The Associated Press, reporting on the same study, points out that the government has been losing these deportation cases at an increasing rate since 2009. That number may be accelerating. In the 2013 fiscal year, the government won 52 percent of its cases. The success rate has dropped by two percent since the beginning of the 2014 budget year, with judges ruling in favor of nearly half of the defendants in the 42,816 cases heard so far.
The study also reveals that the location of the trial has a lot to do with the outcome. Defendants in Oregon, California and New York tend to be more successful. Oregon defendants have a success rate over 77 percent. If tried in Georgia, immigrants have only a 19 percent chance of beating the charges. Louisiana and Utah also have low success rates for defendants.
Fox News reports that in 2011, the government reviewed a backlog of some 300,000 cases. A good deal of those cases, some many years old, were eventually dismissed. Furthermore, in 2012, the Obama administration created a program called Deferred Action for Childhood that allowed some illegal immigrants to apply to stay in the country for two years on a work permit. Kathleen Campbell Walker, an immigration lawyer in Texas, told Fox that those and other reasons could be behind the government’s slouching success rate.
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"The true implications of these numbers are murky and people shouldn't jump to conclusions yet," Walker said.
The study comes at a time when immigration is a hot topic in the nation. President Barack Obama pledged in his State of the Union address last month to use executive power to address many issues. The Senate passed a large immigration reform bill last year, but efforts in the House of Representatives to pass legislation have stalled.