ABA Releases Report on Reforming the Immigration System
The ABA issued a report, conducted by Arnold & Porter LLC, outlining what it found to be the most pressing issues with the current immigration judicial system and making several recommendations for system restructuring to held ease the burdens.
The report states immigration courts have more than 280,000 proceedings a year. This amounts to over 1,000 heard by each immigration judge a year. The BIA decided more than 30,000 appeals a year, and of these more than 10,000 were filed for appeal to the federal circuit courts. This amounts to about 17% of the total cases handled by the federal circuit courts. This has amounted to the court systems being overwhelmed with backlogged immigration cases, and thus, effectively robbing many aliens of any chance of a fair hearing; this is especially alarming given the high stakes in removability proceedings, as in many times the alien is being faced with being sent back to a place they had hoped to leave behind. The report also states that there is great disparity between the immigration judges, determining that success is more often based on the judge that oversees the case than the actual merits of the case.
Thus, the report calls for an overhaul of the system, and proposes three restructuring themes that would ease the burden on the immigration judicial system and create more uniformity in the system. The Report also suggests that certain provision of the INA should be reformed, allowing certain undocumented noncitizens to more easily become lawful permanent residents through the adjustment of status process. It also recommends a narrowing of the definitions of aggravated felony and crimes involving moral turpitude to allow more fair application for noncitizens who have had longstanding ties to the United States.
For more information, please see the extensive and insightful report, located here.