Immigration Law

Reflections on a 40-Year Career as an Immigration Lawyer and Judge - The Hon. Dana Leigh Marks

Reflections on a 40-Year Career as an Immigration Lawyer and Judge - The Hon. Dana Leigh Marks

"...We must do better for ourselves and the public we serve. Our American ideal of justice demands no less. When we canaries in the immigration courtrooms began to sing of our need for independence decades ago, we were seen as paranoid and accused of reacting to shadows in the mirrors of our cages. Finally now, we are seen as prescient by thousands of lawyers, judges, and legislators across the country, as reflected by proposals by the ABA, Federal Bar Association, National Association of Women Judges, Appleseed Foundation, and American Immigration Lawyers Association. There are signs that these calls are being heeded by lawmakers, although the legislative process seems both glacial and mercurial at best. The creation of an Article I Immigration Court is no longer a fringe view, but rather the solution to the persistent diminution of essential safeguards our system must have, clearly acknowledged by experts and stakeholders alike.

The challenges our nation faces as we struggle to reform our immigration law to meet modern needs are many, but a single solution for a dramatic step towards justice has become crystal clear: we must immediately create an Article I Immigration Court. We cannot afford to wait another 40 years to do it. Besides, I want to see it happen in my professional lifetime so that the chapter can be complete and the clock is ticking…"