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Immigration judge quotas will not eliminate the backlog crisis. By Nolan Rappaport

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Attorney General Jeff Sessions has established performance goals for the immigration judges in an effort to deal with the immigration court backlog crisis. In addition to meeting at least half of the deadlines for specified types of cases, judges will have to complete at least 700 cases-a-year to receive a “satisfactory” performance rating. They currently average 678 cases-a-year.

The National Association of Immigration Judges opposes the performance goals. Among other things, they point out that the current backlog cannot be attributed to a lack of productivity on the part of judges, and the imposition of quotas and deadlines on judges will impede justice and due process.


But here’s a better reason to oppose the quotas: Session’s performance goals are not an effective way to deal with the backlog crisis.

As of March 5, 2018
, there were approximately 350 judges, and the immigration court had 684,583 pending deportation cases.




If the judges do 700 cases-a-year, it will only dispose of approximately 245,000 cases-a-year. At that rate, it would take almost three years to eliminate the backlog … if there are no new cases. But there will always be new cases.

Sessions also will hire more judges, but the problems the immigration court is having with the current judges should be addressed first to determine whether the selection process needs to be changed.


Read more at http://thehill.com/opinion/immigrati...backlog-crisis

Published originally on The Hill.

About the author. Nolan Rappaport was detailed to the House Judiciary Committee as an executive branch immigration law expert for three years; he subsequently served as an immigration counsel for the Subcommittee on Immigration, Border Security and Claims for four years. Prior to working on the Judiciary Committee, he wrote decisions for the Board of Immigration Appeals for 20 years.





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Updated 04-04-2018 at 12:58 PM by ImmigrationLawBlogs

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Comments

  1. ImmigrationLawBlogs's Avatar
    This is an excellent article by Nolan, one of his best. It shows that there is no magic wand or silver bullet solution to the immigration court backlog crisis, and that there are problems with disparities in decision-making among judges, the selection of immigration judges and, in the opinion of many, due process, which imposing numerical quotas would do nothing to remedy and might even aggravate.

    Finally, Nolan raises the possibility of a legalization program as at least a partial solution. Are the president and Congressional leaders in both parties listening?

    Roger Algase
    Attorney at Law
  2. ImmigrationLawBlogs's Avatar
    Thanks, Roger.
    Nolan Rappaport
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