When Missing One Court Hearing Results in Deportation, Data Proves Claimants Don’t Just Disappear: Ingrid Eagly Investigates In Absentia Findings in US Immigration Proceedings

Ingrid Eagly (‘95), Professor of Law at UCLA School of Law, co-authored a study published in the University of Pennsylvania Law Review asking “Do immigrants come to their immigration court hearings?” and answers a resounding “yes.” This first-ever independent analysis of in absentia removal orders provides empirical data reflecting verifiable appearance rates critical in shaping immigration policy (“Measuring In Absentia Removal in Immigration Court,” March 2020). “[B]old assertions by members of the current presidential administration that immigrants ‘never’ appear in court drive central policy decisions on immigration enforcement, including growing the immigration detention system, limiting access to asylum, and building a border wall. Contrary to claims that all immigrants abscond, our data-driven analysis reveals that 88% of all immigrants in immigration court with completed or pending removal cases over the past eleven years attended all of their court hearings. … These and other important findings have immediate implications for key immigration policy questions.”