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ABA: Immigration Courts 'Irredeemably Dysfunctional, On Brink of Collapse'

March 21, 2019 (1 min read)

Catherine E. Shoichet, CNN, March 20, 2019

"The American Bar Association is proposing a major overhaul of the US immigration system, calling the courts that decide whether to deport immigrants "irredeemably dysfunctional." "The immigration courts are facing an existential crisis," the association says in a report released Wednesday. "The current system is irredeemably dysfunctional and on the brink of collapse." The only way to fix "serious systemic issues," the report argues, is to create what's known as an Article I court. Akin to tax or bankruptcy courts, this would be a court that's independent from the Justice Department. It's an idea that's been proposed before by advocates and immigration judges. And the American Bar Association listed a similar proposal as an option for reform in a 2010 report on the US immigration system. Its report on Wednesday warns that recent policy changes have made a system that was already stretched at the seams even worse. "The state of the U.S. immigration court system has worsened considerably since our 2010 report," this report notes, specifically mentioning an unprecedented backlog of cases, increased wait times, policy changes that aim to accelerate cases without allocating enough funding, over-reliance on video teleconferencing during court proceedings and possible bias in the hiring of judges."

ABA summary here.

Part I here.

Part II here.

Complete report in one PDF here.