Immigration Law

Immigration Judges Say New Quotas Undermine Independence

Associated Press, Sept. 21, 2018 - "The nation's immigration court judges are anxious and stressed by a quota system implemented by Attorney General Jeff Sessions that pushes them to close 700 cases per year as a way to get rid of an immense backlog, the head of the judges' union said Friday.

It means judges would have an average of about 2½ hours to complete cases — an impossible ask for complicated asylum matters that can include hundreds of pages of documents and hours of testimony, Judge Ashley Tabaddor said.

"This is an unprecedented act, which compromises the integrity of the court and undermines the decisional independence of immigration judges,'' she said in a speech at the National Press Club, in her capacity as head of the union. Tabaddor said the backlog of 750,000 cases was created in part by government bureaucracy and a neglected immigration court system.

"Now, the same backlog is being used as a political tool to advance the current law enforcement policies,'' she said."