How immigrants are redefining 'American' in Southern California

New report counts fewer criminal deportations; ICE calls analysis 'misleading'

In October, the Obama administration released deportation statistics indicating that a majority of the record 396,906 people deported in fiscal year 2011, which ended Sept. 30, had criminal records. Nearly 55 percent were counted as being convicted of felonies or misdemeanors, with the percentage of criminal removals overall up 89 percent since 2008.

But the numbers in a new report based on immigration court records from Syracuse University's Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC) add up differently.

According to the TRAC analysis, of all the deportation proceedings initiated between July and September of this year in the nation's immigration courts, only 13.8 involved individuals charged with having engaged in criminal activity. The analysis also counts fewer removals involving criminal charges this year, as opposed to fiscal year 2010.

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Longer immigration court wait times, with especially long waits in L.A.

Source: Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse

The time it takes for immigration courts to decide cases continues to stretch, with average wait times getting longer by the year lately, according to a new report. And longest waits are in Los Angeles.

This is according to federal data obtained by the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC) at Syracuse University in New York, which keeps tabs on federal enforcement spending.

According to the report released today, average immigration court wait times grew longer during the first six months of federal fiscal year 2011, which began last Oct. 1. During this time the average wait for an immigrant's case to be decided reached 302 days, a jump of 7.5 percent in the last six months and almost 30 percent higher than the average time it took in FY 2009.

Some courts have far worse backlogs than others. From the report:

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