Immigration Judges Have 7 Minutes to Make Life-Changing Decisions

"His courtroom rarely came to order, and by now the judge had decided it was a waste of time to try.  Interpreters explained legalese in three languages.  Adults squeezed into crowded seats while children crouched in the center aisle.  A court official stood near the doorway and worried about the building’s fire code.  “Por favor,” he said in halting Spanish, as another family tried to enter.  “No mas.”  Judge Lawrence Burman sat quietly in front of the chaos, adjusting his reading glasses and sifting through a stack of files on his bench.  He had 26 cases listed on his morning docket in Arlington Immigration Court — 26 decisions to make before lunchtime about the complicated future of undocumented immigrants in the United States. ... He had an average of seven minutes per case.  While Congress and the White House make promises about the future of undocumented immigrants, this is the place where decisions must be made — day after day, case after case, in one of the 57 overwhelmed immigration courts across the country." - Eli Saslow, Washington Post, Feb. 2, 2014.