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May 31, 2018

Evaluating the Immigration Courts System

The ABA Commission on Immigration hosted a panel of immigration experts May 4 to address the problems that are plaguing the immigration court system, which is housed within the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) in the Department of Justice (DOJ). EOIR is responding to the backlog of over 650,000 cases by establishing new case priority and court performance measures. EOIR Director James McHenry told the audience that the office is in the process of hiring 150 additional immigration judges. He also said that a new e-filing system would be in place next year. The other three panelists agreed the system is in crisis and spoke in favor of removing the immigration courts from DOJ and creating a new Article I court. The panel, moderated by Karen Grisez (left), special advisor to the commission, featured (from left): Heidi Altman, policy director, National Immigration Justice Center; Judge Denise Lavin, president emeritus, National Association of Immigration Judges; Paul Schmidt, a retired immigration judge and adjunct professor of law, Georgetown University Law Center, and McHenry.

Back to the May 2018 Washington Letter