September 11, 2018

Statement of ABA President Bob Carlson Re: Immigration lawyers and judges

WASHINGTON, Sept. 11, 2018 — The American Bar Association applauds the work of lawyers who help assure fairness and due process in our nation’s immigration courts. During a visit last month to the border in Texas, I was very impressed by their hard work in difficult circumstances. Our Constitution guarantees certain rights to all people in the United States, including men, women and children who come here to escape lawlessness and violence in their home countries.

The ABA strongly supports the independence of immigration judges and immigration courts. These courts should not be subordinate to any executive branch agency, including the Justice Department. Instead, we support the creation of truly independent immigration courts and judges under Article I of the U.S. Constitution. Such an arrangement would remove any perception that politics can play a role in dispensing justice with matters of immigration.

Our American democracy rests upon the rule of law – and the rule of law rests upon the work of impartial, independent judges, as well as knowledgeable, hard-working lawyers, including immigration attorneys who pursue justice, both for the government and for immigrants who seek asylum.

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