The flagship bureaucracy of federal immigration litigation – the Justice Department's Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) – just released its latest statistical yearbook for fiscal year 2003 [PDF]. Needless to say, it shamelessly portrays itself in the most favorable light—despite its staggering waste of taxpayer dollars.
So ladies and gentlemen, for the first time ever on VDARE.COM, or anywhere else for that matter, I'm going to cut through all the Beltway babble and bureaucrat double-speak.
In this article, I analyze the EOIR's statistics to reveal the real story behind this disingenuous report.
While there's plenty of statistics to digest, the most revealing part of this report is what it doesn't report.
The key to it all: how the EOIR jiggers the numbers by defining its own language—with specific meanings for words like cases "received," "completed," or a judge's "decision" – all in a 20-page glossary.
Stay tuned throughout the year for more of my analysis of particular areas in the report. But for now in approved VDARE.COM style, I will comment on what the EOIR specifically picks out as its statistical highlights for 2003 (Page A1 and A2). As you follow along, compare the government-sponsored myth versus the reality of this wholly unnecessary federal immigration litigation machine.
The EOIR's fiscal year 2003 statistical highlights (Pages A1 and A2):
[Juan Mann comment: Beware the words "received" and "completed." When a detained alien posts an immigration bond to get out of custody, the EOIR immigration court case can be transferred to another city of the alien's choosing. This process is called a "change of venue." (Glossary Page 5) But the first EOIR city gets to count the change of venue as a case "completion" (Glossary Page 6)…even though the case is far from over! When the immigration court in the new city gets the case – though the report doesn't specifically say – the EOIR apparently counts it as "received" all over again.
The EOIR looks more productive. The aliens get out of detention, shop for a new location and game the system. Everybody wins—except, of course, Americans].
Immigration judge decisions increased by 16 percent between FY 2002 (170,225) and FY 2003 (197,920). (Figure 4, Page D1)
[Juan Mann comment: Having more immigration judge decisions doesn't necessarily mean any more aliens were actually deported, given the nature of the system. The aliens just appeal the cases, keeping them in orbit.]
Mexico, El Salvador, Honduras, China and Guatemala represent the predominant nationalities of immigration court case completions during FY 2003. (Figure 6, Page E1)
[Juan Mann comment: Behold the New America!]
Spanish was the most frequently spoken language for immigration court completions during FY 2003. (Figure 8, Page F1). The number of different languages used in court proceedings has increased by 13 percent over FY 1999.
[Juan Mann comment: Behold the Tower of Babel, Senoras y Caballeros !]
[Juan Mann comment: Here's the goal of the Treason Lobby: more paid attorneys, free pro bono attorneys or even unlicensed pretend-lawyers called "accredited representatives" (Glossary Page 2) hired by more aliens, more often.]
Overall failure to appear rates (Figure 10, Page H1) as well as failure to appear rates for non-detained (Figure 11, Page H2) and released aliens (Figure 12, Page H3) decreased in FY 2003.
[Juan Mann comment: Very clever spin! But the important statistic is the third group: failure to appear rate of aliens who were detained and then released (Figure 12, Page H3). Over the last five years, approximately 40 to 50 percent of all aliens released on immigration bond from detention eventually failed to appear at their EOIR hearings. The second statistic only applies to aliens who were NEVER detained during the EOIR process. Of course they show up—they usually want something out of the system, like asylum. This dilutes the first statistic, the overall rate.]
[Juan Mann comment: That's because Eduardo Aguirre's U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has been granting more asylum claims than ever at its regional DHS asylum offices, leaving fewer denials to be referred to the EOIR as an "affirmative" application (Page L1) in immigration court, effectively a second bite at the apple.]
In FY 2003, Los Angeles, CA; Miami, FL; New York City, NY; and San Francisco, CA immigration courts received 58 percent of the asylum filings. (Table 6, Page I-3)
[Juan Mann comment: These four cities have not only represent the greatest concentrations of illegal aliens and criminal alien residents, but also are the most virulent hotbeds of alien smuggling, document fraud, phony "notario" immigration lawyers and sleazy asylum application mills. Looking at the sheer number of EOIR cases in these cities, they're also apparently the four preferred destinations when aliens post an immigration bond and transfer their case.]
Five nationalities were among the top ten nationalities granted asylum each year during the five-year period: China, India, Russia, Albania and Haiti. (Table 7, Page J2)
[Juan Mann comment: Behold the beneficiaries of the poor-man's back-door visa program in the New America! Ever wonder how many of the Albanians granted asylum on our shores are really radical Muslims or their sympathizers?]
The grant rate for asylum applications remained steady at 37 percent. (Figure 16, Page K1) The grant rate was 44 percent for affirmative applications (Figure 17, Page K2), and 26 percent for defensive applications. (Figure 18, Page K2)
[Juan Mann comment: Remember that affirmative applications—in EOIR-speak—mean the very same asylum applicants who were already rejected even by Eduardo Aguirre's corps of asylum officers at the USCIS. (Page L1) Almost half of these previously denied applications are granted the second time around now by EOIR . . . amazing!]
In FY 2003, 36 percent of proceedings completed at the immigration courts had applications for relief. (Figure 22, Page N1)
[Juan Mann comment: But how many were granted, and how many denied relief? Of the aliens who were denied relief from removal, guess how many appealed to the EOIR's Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA). Answer: probably 100 percent!]
Thirty-four (34) percent of FY 2003 immigration court completions involved detained aliens. (Figure 23, Page O1)
[Juan Mann comment: That means that two thirds of the EOIR's caseload (66 percent) is NOT detained –walking the streets of America while their cases remain in limbo. And all of them are either illegal aliens or convicted criminal alien residents.]
BIA receipts increased by 20 percent between FY 2002 (#4,815) and FY 2003 (41,907). (Figure 25, Page S2).
[Juan Mann translation: more aliens are appealing cases and milking the system longer.]
[Juan Mann comment: Behold the most litigious of the New Americans.]
[Juan Mann comment: The BIA's definition of "completion" doesn't mention anything about just sending the cases back (that is, remanding them) to the immigration judges. While the BIA probably includes all of its remanded cases as "completions" and "decisions" (Table 18, Page T2), it could be clearing some of its case backlog by passing the buck and fudging the numbers.]
For the first time in five years, Mexico is not the top nationality for BIA completions; it was outpaced by China. (Figure 29, Page V1)
[Juan Mann comment: Behold the undisputed litigation champion of the New America. With a billion more asylum applicants waiting in the wings – and an almost 40 percent success rate (see 2003 Asylum Statistics, Page 2) before the EOIR alone – there's plenty more to come!]
Seventy-two (72) percent of the cases completed by the BIA in FY 2003 were for represented aliens. (Figure 30, Page W1)
[Juan Mann comment: The BIA and the Treason Lobby —working together for full-employment for even the most marginally-competent of the private immigration bar, regardless of whether they're licensed attorneys or not.]
In FY 2003, 14 percent of IJ [immigration judge] decisions were appealed to the BIA. (Figure 32, Page Y1)
[Juan Mann comment: That means 86% of the aliens in EOIR Immigration Court were either granted relief, willingly took an order of removal, or accepted an immigration bond decision. Of the 14 percent mentioned here, it just means that these aliens haven't won their cases yet.
Because in the EOIR, as author Michelle Malkin has observed: "It ain't over 'til the alien wins."
Juan Mann [send him email] is a lawyer and the proprietor of DeportAliens.com.