Gavel Grab

ABA Vote Backs Idea of New Immigration Court

The American Bar Association is urging U.S. lawmakers to eliminate the existing immigration courts system–one that is faced with growing backlogs, a huge caseload and overburdened judges–and replace it with a new, independent court.

A New York Times article recounts a vote of the lawyers association, a partner of Justice at Stake, at its semiannual meeting and also goes further to explain the ABA’s support for a new, independent system like the federal courts that decide tax cases:

“Behind the seemingly arcane proposal was a portrait of the nation’s immigration courts besieged with new cases arising from an intensified federal crackdown on illegal immigration, and challenged by critics who doubt the courts’ impartiality.”

These courts have become “an overwhelmed system choked by an exploding caseload,” said Lawrence Schneider,  a main author of  a report submitted to the ABA. You can read an executive summary of the report by clicking here, and an ABA press release about it here.

According to the Times, the report pointed to an average caseload per immigration judge of more than 1,200, or three times the load carried by a federal district court judge. As case backloads rise, more immigrants are stuck in expensive detention, the report said.

These other major problems facing the immigration courts were highlighted by the ABA press release:

  • “Significant disparities in rates of favorable decisions indicate that respondents’ chances of success are highly dependent upon the judges before whom they appear rather than the merits of their case.
  • “Courts face public skepticism and a low level of respect for the process due in part to their lack of independence from the Department of Justice.”

The existing immigration courts are part of the Justice Department, and the judges work for the U.S. attorney general.

You can learn more about the federal government’s crackdown on illegal immigration, and the erosion of courts’ ability to protect individual rights, from Justice at Stake’s issues page.

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  1. Donde Estas February 9th, 2010 5:44 pm

    The ABA is a radical open-border group that is only pushing this agenda to benefit immigration attorneys and illegal aliens. The “report” was funded by the Ford Foundation, a liberal hate group (it hates America and American workers).

    One of the suggested changes is an end to state and local enforcement of immigration laws.

    What a joke the ABA is.

  2. […] eliminate the existing immigration courts system and replace it with a new, independent court (see Gavel Grab). Immigration judges are not part of the federal judiciary, but work for the Justice […]

  3. […] replace it with a new, independent court. You can learn more about those ABA recommendations from Gavel Grab. The ABA is a Justice at Stake partner. No comments  Email This […]

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