AILA Calls for Independent Immigration Courts

Beginning October 1, 2018, Attorney General Sessions is requiring all immigration judges to meet performance-based case-completion quotas, which means the judges are forced to complete a certain number of cases or face discipline. This astounding move has been called "death knell for judicial independence" by the National Association of Immigration Judges, and means judges will compelled to rush through these often life-or-death cases.

The imposition of quotas is just the latest in a series of policy changes implemented in the past year that undermine judicial independence, threaten due process, and prevent people from getting a fair day in court. Because immigration courts are housed under the Department of Justice, the very same law enforcement agency that is charged with prosecuting immigration cases in federal courts, the Attorney General has authority over both the prosecutors and judges in immigration cases. Attorney General Sessions has wielded this considerable power to not only impose quotas, but also pluck no less than six cases from the judges to decide himself, to reassign judges away from particular cases, and to implement policies that emphasize quantity over quality.

In the face of this unprecedented attack on our judiciary, more than 1,000 AILA members are submitting a letter to Attorney General Sessions asking that he support the creation of an independent, Article I court system that can ensure due process and fundamental fairness. Justice demands nothing less.


Take Action Today

Join the Conversation on Social Media

Help engage your social media community in the conversation about the need for independent immigration courts with these sample tweets:

  • @AILANational is calling for the creation of an independent #immigration court system. Learn why here: #JudicalIndependence
  • "America needs a stand-alone, independent court that will administer our nation's #immigration laws free from political manipulation." @AILAExecDir #JudicialIndependence
  • Due process cannot be carried out on an assembly line, plain and simple. Case completion quotas will force #immigration judges to make hasty decisions instead of giving every immigrant a fair day in court. #ProtectDueProcess via @AILANational

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Cite as AILA Doc. No. 18092834.

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