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Immigration Law

Rubber Stamps, Eliminating Master Calendar Hearings...How Low Can EOIR Go?

Oct. 15, 2021 - FOIA Sensei Matthew Hoppock blows the lid off this story.  How will EOIR respond?  Will litigation ensue?  Will the MSM dig deeper?  Please read the whole thing, and stay tuned!

EOIR Headquarters Using Rubber Signature Stamps to Make Orders Appear Like They Came From the Immigration Judge

"The “rubber stamp” is a nefarious metaphor, historically used to accuse judges or legislatures of lacking any real power (or of refusing to exercise it).  As it goes, the judge hasn’t made a meaningful decision at all; their signature has merely been stamped on an order or decree to provide a sheen of formality or due process.  Records recently obtained through the Freedom of Information Act show that the Department of Justice, which runs the nation’s immigration courts, is issuing “rubber stamp” orders under a new system called “Case Flow Processing.”  While these orders appear to be signed by the judge, in some cases they have been issued by a DOJ employee in Virginia and the signature is stamped by a staff member, using a rubber signature stamp, and then mailed to the parties. ... Setting aside the problem with rubber stamping judges’ signatures, it’s not even clear why the EOIR believes this program [Revised Case Flow Processing, PM 21-18, Apr. 2, 2021] is legal. Neither the implementing memos nor the training materials explain why EOIR is allowed to skip these important first hearings, called “Master Calendar” hearings. Yet the federal regulations that govern immigration court, the immigration statute, and binding agency and court decisions require them."