Migrants detained at the US-Mexico border
Most people intercepted at the US southern border are deported. AFP

The pace of deportations from the United States has increased by 50% compared to the highest point of the Trump administration in 2019, according to a new report.

The study, conducted by Syracuse University's Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC), shows that U.S. immigration judges have ordered a little less than 137,000 deportations in the first six months of fiscal year 2024, which started in October 2023.

Moreover, about half a million people have been deported by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Border Patrol authorities during that period.

The increase in removal orders coincides with the expansion of the ranks of immigration judges during the current administration," reads a passage of the report.

The largest amount of deportation orders were issued to immigrants residing in New York City, with just under 11,000. Texas' Harris County and Los Angeles followed suit with over 8,000 and almost 6,000, respectively.

The report also showed that while the pace of removals is increasing, immigrants are increasingly unable to secure representation to help them present their cases.

"Since FY 2021, representation rates have plummeted as removal hearings climbed. Last year, representation rates had fallen to only 20 percent. So far during FY 2024, only 15 percent of immigrants ordered removed had been able to obtain representation to assist them," the study says.

The figure contrasts with 30% of representation for migrants in the Court's backlog, something the report says is not surprising, as "those without attorneys generally have much higher odds of being ordered removed."

Representation rates differed depending on where people resided. In Dallas, the figure was only 5%, compared to 13% in New York City and 26% in Orange County, in California.

Looking at cases related to asylum seekers, court cases completed over the past six months took over two and a half years to finish in average. "Cases ending in removal orders went faster (627 days on average), while those cases in which a judge granted asylum or another form of relief took 3.7 years (an average of 1,361 days)."

However, as the situation as the border continues to be an electoral liability for president Joe Biden, the president is set to publish an updated rule allowing it to reject asylum seekers more quickly, Axios reported on Wednesday.

The rule, the outlet said, would allow immigration officials to bar migrants from asylum within days, even hours, compared to the years it can take at the moment. The rule could target people considered national security risks.

Such measures have been in the works for months now but so far their implementation had not been announced.

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