Since last October, almost half of the immigrants facing deportation are winning cases they have brought before an immigration judge according to the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse at Syracuse University. This is the highest rate of victories for immigrants in more than 20 years.
Every year since 2009, the U.S. government has lost more deportation cases. If the government wants to appeal the ruling, it can appeal it to the Board of Immigration Appeals, part of the DOJ.
Judges in California, New York, and Oregon have been most likely to side with the immigrants recently, while judges in Georgia, Louisiana, and Utah have taken the side of the government.
Some are accusing Obama of deporting too many people, and others aver that he is too lenient on immigrants. The Obama administration has issued policy orders telling immigration authorities to exercise discretion when ascertaining if illegal immigrants should be deported, and one-time Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano echoed that illegal immigrants who were not a threat to national security or public safety should also be treated with discretion.
In 2012, Obama created the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which allowed thousands of illegal immigrants to apply to remain in the U.S. for up to two years and obtain a work permit. House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) has said that the huge number of losses by the government in the deportation cases is the result of the Obama administration’s immigration enforcement policies.
In 2011, a backlog of over 300,000 cases forced the government to review them. Tens of thousands of cases were dismissed, but over 360,000 cases are still pending.