How the El Paso Immigration Court Fails to Uphold Due Process

How the El Paso Immigration Court Fails to Uphold Due Process

April 3, 2019

This complaint highlights systemic due process violations that are undermining justice for detained immigrants called before judges at the El Paso Service Processing Center (SPC) Immigration Court. The complaint draws from court observations of hundreds of immigration hearings, several sworn statements from legal practitioners appearing before the El Paso SPC Immigration Court, standing orders used by the Immigration Judges, and more. Read the evidence here.

Egregious immigration judge conduct and court rules are highlighted in the complaint, including:

  • Judges making hostile comments including, “due process is an opportunity, not a privilege” and “you know your client is going bye-bye, right?”
  • Migrants being deprived of accurate interpretation at hearings.
  • Judges limiting the amount of evidence asylum seekers are allowed to present to defend themselves from deportation to dangerous conditions.

The American Immigration Council and the American Immigration Lawyers Association filed a complaint with the Department of Justice, Executive Office of Immigration Review, Office of the Inspector General, and the Department of Justice's Office of Professional Responsibility.

On December 2, 2019, the Council and AILA sent a letter to the agencies requesting an update on the original complaint and what—if any—changes the Executive Office for Immigration Review has made regarding the problematic use of “standing orders.”  In addition, the Council and AILA requested an update on the status of any investigations, disciplinary measures, or other meaningful changes made at the El Paso Service Processing Center in light of the allegations raised in the original complaint.” 

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