Sunday, May 26, 2019

ABA: Immigration Courts Should be Independent of DOJ


The American Bar Association has renewed calls for lawmakers to overhaul the nation's immigration court system by making the courts independent from the U.S. Department of Justice. The ABA is joined by an array of legal workers in accusing the administration of enacting policies that pressure immigration judges to ramp up deportations, with no apparent concern for due process or the rule of law. 

Here is the ABA Commission on Immigration report on the immigration adjudication system.  The Executive Summary includes a recommendation for the creation of an Article I immigration court system:

"Our recommendations relating to the creation of an Article I court are set forth in Part 6 of this Update Report. In recognition of the fact that institutional changes take time and political will to achieve, Part 2 is largely devoted to providing updates to our prior recommendations in the 2010 Report relating to the immigration courts as they currently exist. We provide a brief update on the two systemic issues identified in the 2010 Report and then reframe the discussion of each of the 2010 recommendations by addressing them in the context of the three most urgent systemic issues facing the immigration courts today:

(1) lack of judicial independence and political interference with the immigration courts;

(2) policies and practices that threaten due process; and

(3) longstanding and widespread under-resourcing of the immigration courts.

While major systemic reform is necessary, the updated recommendations we offer in this Part are designed to ensure that the immigration courts can continue to function until such time as transition to an Article I court becomes a reality."


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