Wednesday, June 12, 2019
The immigration court system has failed to fulfill the constitutional and statutory promise of fair and impartial case-by-case review, according to a new report released today by Innovation Law Lab and the Southern Poverty Law Center, entitled The Attorney General’s Judges: How the U.S. Immigration Courts Became a Deportation Tool.
The report explains how the immigration court system that is biased, inconsistent and driven by politics. It further examines the conflict that arises when immigration judges, who are expected to be neutral, are supervised by the United States’ chief law enforcement officer who prioritizes deterrence and deportation of immigrants, not fair and impartial review.
The report recommends removing the immigration courts from the Attorney General’s control and re-creating them as Article I courts. To ensure that immigration judges are insulated from political pressures, they must be selected based on merit, receive tenure, and subject to removal only for good cause. They must also include more effective mechanisms of internal and appellate accountability.