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11.22.19

NAIJ Briefs Congressional Staffers on Need for Independent Immigration Court

The briefing was organized by the FBA in collaboration with the NAIJ, the American Bar Association, and the American Immigration Lawyers Association. The FBA has worked with NAIJ and other subject-matter experts to create draft legislation that would establish an Article 1 Immigration Court, a systemic reform that would fix the inherent conflict that currently exists with the Immigration Court residing in the DOJ.

Judge Burman detailed to staffers the changes and challenges he’s seen in the Immigration Court over the years he’s served on the bench, including docket management tools and authority being taken away from judges in recent years, increases in the number of immigration judges while under-hiring clerks and support staff, and the imposition of case completion quotas that are linked to judges’ individual performance evaluations, to name a few. These developments not only create due process concerns but also result in contributing to the Immigration Court’s backlog which now numbers over 1 million cases.

While the NAIJ plays a critical role in providing transparency for the Immigration Court to the public and to decisionmakers, the DOJ is attacking the union by attempting to decertify NAIJ.

Additional coverage of NAIJ and the DOJ's attacks on the Immigration Judges' union rights and judicial independence can be found here.

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