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Migrant Justice: Cleveland immigration court trends this fiscal year

IRTF publishes a monthly Migrant Justice newsletter, which can be accessed at .

Two consistent sections of the newsletter each month are

1) TRAC data (immigration court filings and deportation orders)

2) ICE Air flights (flights to forcibly remove migrants and immigrants)


TRAC DATA (Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse, based at Syracuse University)

The Cleveland  EOIR is the only EOIR in the state of Ohio. Out of 31 states that house the nation’s 69 immigration courts, Ohio ranks #14 in the number of new deportation proceedings filed each month.



FY23 (Oct 1 2022 – July 31, 2023)

Cleveland  = 20,154

US = 1,052,693


The number of new deportation proceedings filed in the Cleveland EOIR is double the rate of last fiscal year (Oct 2021-Sep 2022 = 11,282; average 940 per month) (Oct 2022-Jul 2023 = 20,154; average 2,015 per month).

Looking at new deportation proceedings file against each nationality, Cleveland’s new proceedings are 1%, 2% or 3% of new proceedings filed nationally. But the big exceptions in Ohio are Mauritanians (18%) and people from Uzbekistan (12%).


Top countries.

For the top 10 countries of new deportation proceedings filed, the only difference between the Cleveland numbers and the national numbers is:

Cleveland – Mauritania is #2, but doesn’t even show up in the national Top 10

Cleveland – Uzbekistan is #7, but doesn’t even show up in the national Top 10

US – Two countries are in the national Top 10 that don’t show up in the Cleveland Top 10: Peru and Cuba


CLEVELAND – new deportation proceedings filed FY23 (thru July 2023)

Venezuela (2172), Mauritania (2146), Mexico (1938), Haiti (1713), Colombia (1400), Guatemala (1286), Uzbekistan (1200), Honduras (1143), Nicaragua (1035), Brazil (597)

US – new deportation proceedings filed FY23 (thru July 2023)

Venezuela (131,559), Mexico (120,476), Colombia (101,193), Honduras (79,913), Haiti (65,331), Guatemala (61,045), Peru (53,656), Cuba (51,984), Nicaragua (50,647), Brazil (25,045)




Of the 31 states with immigration courts, Ohio ranks #11 in numbers of deportation orders issued by immigration judges.

Deportation orders against each nationality follow the same pattern as new proceedings filed, with about 1-3% of each nationality being issued deportation orders from the Cleveland EOIR. The only exception is Haitians; the Cleveland EOIR is issuing 6% of the nationwide total of deportation orders against Haitians.

Top nationalities for whom deportation orders have been ordered in FY 2022-23.

The Top 10 are the same for both Cleveland and nationwide.


FY23 (through July 2023)

Cleveland: 4,491 total (average 449 per month; 2.5% of the national total)

Guatemala (990), Honduras (749), Nicaragua (594), Mexico (503), El Salvador (200), Colombia (180), Haiti (171), Venezuela (166), Brazil (164), Ecuador (64)

US: 191,158 (19,116 per month)

Honduras (42,213), Guatemala (38,184), Mexico (20,487), Nicaragua (17,097), El Salvador (14,144), Colombia (10,233), Brazil (7,419), Ecuador (7,249), Venezuela (5,864), Haiti (2,823)


Compare the FY23 numbers above to FY22:


FY22 (entire 12 months of the fiscal year)

Cleveland: 3,517 total (average 293 per month; 3% of the national total)

Guatemala (1207), Honduras (768), Mexico (405), El Salvador (201), Nicaragua (163), Venezuela (51), Colombia (42), Cuba (21)

US: 117,924 total

Guatemala (24,674), Honduras (24,329), Mexico (15,349), El Salvador (11,098), Nicaragua (7,528), Colombia (3,137), Venezuela (1,988), Cuba (1,209)




The national numbers are not readily available for comparison. But the Cleveland numbers of juveniles being issued deportation orders have declined this year compared to the previous fiscal year. For instance, in July 2023, just 13 minors received deportation orders. The numbers were in the high 20s and 30s each month just six months ago.

Guatemala and Honduras: About half of the 267 juveniles who have been issued deportation orders by the Cleveland EOIR in FY23 (thru July 2023) are from Guatemala. Other sizable numbers are Hondurans. Other countries like Mexico and El Salvador are relatively few.




An IRTF intern has been looking at the data posted on the website Witness at the Border and digesting it for us each month.

Over the last 12 months, there have been 1,325 removal flights. These are migrants/immigrants forcibly removed either because of a deportation order or forcible removal under Title 8 at the border. The vast majority of ICE flights (84%) are flights with origins and destinations inside the US, shuttling migrants from one processing center on the border to another, or from one detention center to another.


Removals Flights: Looking at the 1,325 removal flights

With an estimated average of 100 passengers per flight, this means that over the past 12 months, as many as 132,500 people could have been returned to Latin America, the Caribbean and a small number to Africa by air by the U.S.


Removal flights in recent months

There has been an average of 120 flights per month over the past six months, so that’s about 1,200 people per month who are forcibly removed from the US.


140     AUG 2022

107     SEP 2022

 83     OCT 2022

101     NOV 2022

 95     DEC 2022

 44     JAN 2023

127     FEB 2023

145     MAR 2023

117     APR 2023

107     MAY 2023

122     JUN 2023

 99     JUL 2023


Top destinations for removal flights:

In June and July 2023, the Northern Triangle countries continued to receive 70-75% of all removal flights.