Immigration Courts

The enforcement of immigration laws is a complex and hotly-debated topic. Learn more about the costs of immigration enforcement and the ways in which the U.S. can enforce our immigration laws humanely and in a manner that ensures due process.

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July 24, 2017

The Department of Justice (DOJ) announced last month that it now has hired 326 immigration judges, 53 more judges than July 2016, yet during that time the immigration court backlog has grown....

July 7, 2017

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals delivered a strong rebuke to the government’s years-long effort to strip detained immigrant children of the right to a bond hearing in immigration court. The 3-0...

June 8, 2017

Anyone familiar with the immigration system knows that the immigration courts have an enormous backlog which has persisted—and grown—for more than a decade. As of April 2017, the immigration court...

May 18, 2017

On Wednesday, a federal court in Seattle issued a nationwide temporary restraining order allowing nonprofits to continue to provide limited legal assistance to immigrants without being forced to...

April 11, 2017

Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced a shift in policy for the Department of Justice on Tuesday, directing U.S. Attorneys to prioritize criminal immigration enforcement and drastically expand...

March 10, 2017

The Atlanta immigration court is known as one of the worst places to be in deportation proceedings. For years, the judges have been accused of abusive and unprofessional practices and the denial...

February 9, 2017

Jeff Sessions was confirmed as Attorney General this week by a vote of 52-47, following a very contentious confirmation process. As Attorney General and head of the Department of Justice (DOJ),...

February 3, 2017

The Trump administration released a memorandum this week–effective immediately–which orders the Department of Justice Executive Office for Immigration Review (which manages the immigration courts...

January 31, 2017

The fallout continues from last week’s immigration executive order, which has been coined the “Muslim Ban.” Several lawsuits have been filed to challenge the executive order, including Ali v....

January 12, 2017

Senator Jeff Sessions, who has been nominated to be Attorney General by President-elect Donald Trump, endured a 10-and-a-half-hour confirmation hearing this week where he answered questions on a...

October 12, 2018

Overwhelmed immigration courts and massive court backlogs have long been a nation-wide problem. Hearings are regularly scheduled years in advance—in some jurisdictions, judges are scheduling...

October 1, 2018

On October 1, immigration judges around the country will arrive at work and face a daunting new task; complete 700 removal cases in the next year or risk official sanction. The new court quotas...

September 26, 2018

In his latest attempt to micromanage immigration judges and ensure a maximum number of deportations, Attorney General Jeff Sessions issued a decision last week restricting a judge’s ability to...

September 24, 2018
This amicus brief discusses how Sessions’ public statements indicate prejudgment about the use of continuances and explains how Sessions’ use of the referral authority suggests that he is choosing to refer cases to himself to achieve predetermined political and policymaking goals.
September 21, 2018
Yesterday, plaintiffs in an ongoing lawsuit challenging the U.S. government’s targeted efforts to obstruct asylum seekers filed a motion for preliminary injunction demanding timely bond hearings that comport with due process.
September 11, 2018

Rather than encourage the new class of 44 immigration judges to be fair and impartial adjudicators in his Monday morning speech, Attorney General Jeff Sessions advocated for a deeply flawed...

September 10, 2018
This Practice Advisory provides a practitioner-focused overview of motions to continue a case in removal proceedings, from the basics of making the motion to advanced issues of jurisdictional bars to appellate review of continuances.
September 7, 2018

The Department of Justice (DOJ) released “Phase I” of its review of the federally-funded Legal Orientation Program (LOP) this week. The review came after Attorney General Jeff Sessions attempted...

September 6, 2018
The Legal Orientation Program (LOP) offers legal education, as well as referrals for free and low-cost legal counsel, to noncitizens in immigration detention.
This case challenges the punitive practice of keeping asylum seekers in custody for weeks or months without access to credible fear interviews or bond hearings and the lack of basic procedural protections—like hearing transcripts and written decisions—in bond hearings, as well as whether asylum seekers must bear the burden of proof in bond proceedings.

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