An independent and nonpartisan immigration tracking project was forced to suspend data publishing on juvenile illegal migrants because the government’s data reporting is not “accurate or reliable.”
The Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC) said that 50,000 asylum files had mysteriously vanished from the Executive Office of Immigration Review (EOIR).
Despite repeatedly warning the Biden administration about the inaccurate data, the government still falsely reported that “its asylum backlog had been reduced this past year when in fact it had markedly grown.”
“TRAC’s analyses indicate that the data used by the Immigration Court for tracking and reporting on juveniles who are facing deportation appear to be seriously flawed to the point that we question whether the agency has the ability to meaningfully and reliably report on juveniles in its caseload,” the Syracuse University affiliate wrote on Thursday.
TRAC detailed that they had contacted the EOIR’s Acting Director Jean King in September and Director David Neal in October to share their findings and describe the discrepancies they found with the juvenile case history database. The EOIR did not respond to either inquiry and published the inaccurate data anyway.
“TRAC has concluded that these flaws, as detailed below, are so serious that the resulting statistics based on these data are not an accurate or reliable indicator of the quantity or characteristics of juvenile cases currently being handled by the Immigration Court,” the statement read.
The project found that out of 466,397 records, 50% of pending cases involving children who were 0-17 at the time of their NTA did not have their age listed in the file and 38% were actually adults at the time the NTA was issued.
They also determined that 29% of unaccompanied minors were misclassified in their files, and 88% of children in families seeking asylum were not included in the juvenile history file at all.
“TRAC found that the EOIR had apparently lost track of about 50,000 additional pending asylum applications. This has led it to falsely report that its asylum backlog had been reduced this past year when in fact it had markedly grown,” the project wrote.
“A number of these asylum cases continue to disappear each month,” the statement concluded. “The public should be increasingly troubled by the indifference that the Immigration Courts have shown to these issues and should push for improved transparency and accountability.”
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