Lichter, Osuna: OIG Critique of Immigration Courts Lacks Nuance

Lichter, Osuna: OIG Critique of Immigration Courts Lacks Nuance

"Laura Lichter, president of the American Immigration Lawyers Association, said the inspector general reached simplistic conclusions to complex problems associated with the immigration court system.  She said cases involving detained immigrants are less likely to involve an immigration lawyer.  And in some cases, people could be “stuck in jail on a noncriminal matter” because they cannot afford a bond while their case moves through the system.  In nondetainee cases, an extension or continuance can be sought to receive government paperwork, obtain an expert witnesses, or to deal with other variables.  “You need time to prepare and build a case,” said Lichter, who practices immigration law in Colorado." - Hearst, Nov. 1, 2012.

"EOIR Executive Director Juan Osuna, who was appointed by Attorney General Eric Holder, agrees that the court system should revamp its internal case tracking process, but rejected the IG’s assertion that the current system misleads the public in its efficiency rate.  “The OIG misunderstands the purpose of the management reports,” said Osuna in his response to the report.  “As an initial manner, case completion reports are intended to measure court workload so that the agency can more effectively balance resources among the immigration courts to accomplish its mission.  These reports were never intended to promote the agency's accomplishments to the public but instead were developed as internal tools to provide the courts and EOIR management with critical information about the processing of cases." - The Hill, Nov. 1, 2012.