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I study America’s immigration enforcement system. Associate Professor at TRAC. Graduate of OSU Geography. Online at austinkocher.com.

But if our recent findings are correct, MPP has already had its effect and most migrants will never get a chance to have their cases heard before a judge.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security announced today that it would begin reopening many of the cases of migrants whose asylum cases were rejected under the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP). MPP was a Trump-era program that forced asylum seekers to remain in dangerous parts of northern Mexico rather than processing their asylum cases in the United States.

We at TRAC have been tracking MPP data since the beginning of the program…


When we put out data at TRAC, we typically focus on providing a national snapshot of deportation cases. However, I wanted to experiment with providing data on a specific geography — in this case, New York — as a resource for journalists, researchers, and the public who often tell me they want information on cases a little closer to home.

For that reason, I created the following fact sheet on key data points on deportation cases in the State of New York prepare from our data at Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC), a research institute at Syracuse University. …


A new report that we just released today at TRAC shows that the number of immigrants whose cases transferred out of the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP) dropped sharply in May. 4,476 MPP cases had been allowed into the country in April 2021.

This fell to just 1,988 in May.

In total, 10,375 individuals forced to remain in Mexico under MPP have been allowed into the country between January and May. Still 16,138 MPP cases — or 60% of the total — have not been permitted to enter the country.

The slowing of the transfer pace during May was unexpected because…


We update our immigration court data every month in order to provide the public with important information about immigration. To improve accessibility to the data, a few months ago we created a new ‘Quick Facts’ tool that provides key data points as clearly as possible. These tools provide easy-to-access data points for journalists writing immigration stories.

We updated those key figures today. Data highlights include the following:

  • Immigration Courts recorded receiving 126,911 new cases so far in FY 2021 as of May 2021. This compares with 68,260 cases that the court completed during this period.
  • According to court records, only…


The United States has greatly expanded its deportation apparatus in the past 15 years primarily by enrolling local law enforcement agencies in federal immigration enforcement regimes. This means that routine interaction with law enforcement — often through traffic enforcement — has become one of the primary ways that immigrants are funneled into the deportation pipeline.

Immigration reporter Tanvi Misra (@Tanvim) discussed this issue in a very illustrative recent article “Another Consequence of Traffic Stops: Deportation” published for CityLaw at Bloomberg News.

Misra writes about Roland Sylvain, who was pulled over by police while driving through Hanover County, Virginia, on his…


On June 1, 2021, the Biden administration officially ended the Migrant Protection Protocols (aka ‘Remain in Mexico’) in a memo from Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas.

We at the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC) at Syracuse University have been at the forefront of providing regularly-updated data and analysis on MPP since the start of the program in January 2019.

Over 70,000 asylum-seekers were ultimately affected by MPP. The vast majority of migrants never had the opportunity for a full asylum hearing. Those who did have a court hearing often did not have access to an immigration attorney…


Over the past six months, the number of people following me and reading my articles on immigration news has exploded from about 10 to over 4,500. I wanted to take this moment to say “thank you” and to ask for feedback on what you like so far and what you would like to see me write about in the coming weeks and months.

When I started writing on Medium, I was motivated very simply by a desire to connect my scholarly research and perspective as a geographer at Syracuse University to a broader audience. …


Visit AustinKocher.com for more short articles about the current state of the US immigration system or follow me on Twitter here for news, policy, and data about immigration.

Over the weekend, the Biden administration granted Temporary Protected Status (TPS) to Haitian immigrants in the United States.

TPS is a special immigrant status that is granted by the government in circumstances when it would not be ethical (or sometimes even logistically possible) to deport people to the country due to political and social conflict, environmental disaster, or other situations. …


As a geographer, one of the things that’s important to me is putting the United States in a global context whenever I can. So when the U.S. Census Bureau released updated population figures for states today, I decided to revisit one of the most controversial demographic questions: Is the United States overpopulated?

Anxiety about “overpopulation” can be traced back to Thomas Malthus in the early 1800s, the book the Population Bomb by Paul Ehrlich in the 1960s, and recently former President Donald Trump’s claim related to immigration that “the U.S. is full.”

Using data from the U.S. Census Bureau and…


Biden formally ended Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP), but thousands of asylum cases are still in limbo.

Update: CNN’s Priscilla Alvarez reports that the official number of migrants in MPP who have been paroled stands at 8,100 on April 22.

During the Trump administration, the Department of Homeland (DHS) implemented the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP) — also known as ‘Remain in Mexico’ — in January 2019 in an effort to restrict those seeking asylum from entering the United States.

Under the Biden administration, DHS has ended MPP and begun to admit asylum-seekers that were originally excluded under MPP into the United States. …

Austin Kocher, PhD

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