Immigration Law

ADMINISTRATIVE COMPLAINT REGARDING EL PASO SERVICE PROCESSING CENTER IMMIGRATION COURT JUDGES

AIC and AILA, Apr. 3, 2019

"The American Immigration Council (“Council”) and the American Immigration Lawyers
Association (“AILA”) jointly file this complaint on behalf of immigration practitioners and their
detained clients who appear for immigration proceedings at the El Paso Service Processing
Center immigration court (“El Paso SPC Court”) regarding:

(A) The use of problematic standing orders by Immigration Judges (“IJs”) at the El Paso
SPC Court that undermine due process and diminish access to counsel;

(B) A culture of hostility and contempt towards noncitizens who appear at the El Paso
SPC Court; and

(C) The use of problematic court practices which undermine due process and a fair day
in court for noncitizens appearing before the El Paso SPC Court.

This complaint is based on interviews and declarations from legal practitioners who appeared
before the detained docket at the El Paso SPC Court, several IJ standing orders, and a court
observation project conducted by the University of Texas at El Paso (“UTEP”) and the Hope
Border Institute involving hundreds of immigration court cases heard at the El Paso SPC Court.
The court observations, declarations, and statistics paint a sobering picture. The data suggest
that noncitizens appearing in the El Paso SPC Court face some of the highest obstacles in the
nation to due process and fair adjudication of claims for relief."