Monday, June 11th, 2018

Immigration Courts Need an Upgrade

"In considerable measure because immigration judges are not independent, and there are inherent conflicts of interest, federal circuit courts of appeal are flooded with requests for review of immigration cases.  Despite legislation passed more than 15 years ago granting it, immigration judges have no contempt authority because the Justice Department has refused to allow them to use it.  This appears to come from an aversion to allowing immigration judges, who are Justice Department attorneys, to discipline Department of Homeland Security attorneys, who prosecute immigration cases.  Subpoenas issued by immigration judges go unenforced when directed at Homeland Security attorneys because U.S. attorneys won’t pick sides between the two sibling agencies.  It is not unusual for immigration judges to face personal discipline when making good-faith legal decisions because the Justice Department responds to complaints from disgruntled parties. The appropriate recourse