Sunday, October 15, 2017
Immigration Impact of the American Immigration Council reports that the Department of Justice (DOJ) is intending to implement numerical quotas on Immigration Judges as a way of evaluating their performance. This move would undermine judicial independence, threaten the integrity of the immigration court system, and cause massive due process violations.
If case completion quotas are imposed, Immigration Judges will be pressured to adjudicate cases more quickly, unfairly fast-tracking the deportation of those with valid claims for relief. Asylum seekers may need more time to obtain evidence that will strengthen their case or find an attorney to represent them. Only 37 percent of all immigrants (and merely 14 percent of detained immigrants) are able to secure legal counsel in their removal cases, even though immigrants with attorneys fare much better at every stage of the court process.
If judges feel compelled to dispose of cases quickly decreasing the chances that immigrants will be able to get an attorney, immigrants will pay the price, at incredible risk to their livelihood.