Trump administration sets quotas for immigration judges
The Department of Justice (DOJ) has reportedly set quotas for immigration judges for the first time, requiring them to close a certain number of cases per year.
The Wall Street Journal on Monday reported that the DOJ notified judges late last week that they will be evaluated based on how quickly they close immigration cases. The change is intended to speed up the process and clear the backlog of cases in the immigration courts.
Judges will be required to complete 700 cases per year, and to see fewer than 15 percent of their decision returned by a higher court, the Journal reported. Other requirements were issued pertaining to completing cases quickly after a hearing date.
The new protocol will go into effect on Oct. 1, the Journal reported.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions and other officials say delays in immigration courts have led to a backlog in processing individuals for deportation.
Immigration attorneys and the immigration judges’ union told the newspaper the new process could lead to expedited cases at the expense of waiting for all of the evidence to be presented in a defendant’s favor.
The changes to immigration courts are the latest in a series of efforts from the Trump administration to crack down on immigration.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement has ratcheted up its activity in arresting and deporting individuals in the country illegally since President Trump took office.
Trump on Sunday called on Republicans in the Senate to pass tougher immigration laws using the so-called nuclear option, which would allow the chamber to pass legislation with a simple majority.