Showing up is the hardest part : examining geographic barriers to immigration court access



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What is the impact of geographical barriers to immigration court on court attendance? Building on Herd and Moynihan’s (2018) theory of administrative burdens, I examine the role of compliance costs in attending immigration court hearings, arguing that a reduction in geographical compliance costs can lead to more equitable outcomes in immigration court hearings. I utilize Executive Office for Immigration Review individual level case data and leverage both logistic regression and an interrupted time series to predict the impact of drive time to the court, driver’s license access, and virtual court access on the likelihood that an immigrant is present at court. My results suggest that geographical burdens limit immigrants’ abilities to comply with the court’s administrative burdens. Increasing virtual court access may lead to fewer in absentia deportations as a result of missed court hearings.



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