More than a dozen immigrants received notice to appear in a Dallas immigration court regarding their deportation cases on Sept. 13. The notices came from the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency. According to Dallas News, when the immigrants arrived at court, court officials told them these were “fake dates.”
Although the notices were real, ICE had never cleared these dates with immigration courts, so none of the immigrants were on the court docket to appear that day. This incident is not limited to just Dallas. It has been reported that ICE has sent “fake date” notices to immigrants in Los Angeles, San Diego, Chicago, Atlanta and Miami.
Some notices list dates that do not exist
Some of the notices have stated the immigrants need to show up at court at midnight, on the weekend or even dates that don’t exist like Sept. 31.
The immigrants in Dallas were detained after a trailer factory was raided by ICE on Aug. 28. Most of those picked up in the raid were released afterward and were awaiting information from the agency.
Supreme court ruled notice to appear needs to have date and location
The so-called fake date notices are believed to be a reaction to a recent Supreme Court decision. The case involved a Brazilian immigrant who received a notice to appear regarding his deportation case, but the notice did not include a time or place to appear. The high court ruled that a valid notice needs to include a date and location to appear for a court case.
The Department of Homeland Security, which oversees ICE, seems to have complied with the court’s ruling by scheduling court dates that it has not cleared with immigration courts.
No explanation for notices given by ICE
The immigrants that appeared at the Dallas court were told to fill out another form and were given a phone number to continue to call until their real court date is scheduled. ICE offered no explanation for the confusion regarding the court dates.
Immigration courts already facing backlog of cases
Immigration courts are already overloaded with cases. There are about 750,000 cases that need to be resolved, and the fake dates are worsening matters for the overburdened courts.
For immigrants, these notices are also an issue. Some are traveling hundreds of miles to attend hearings that are not actually scheduled. For people who may not speak English, it also adds another layer of confusion and uncertainty to their deportation cases.