A recent CNN report details how 45 immigration judges have left their jobs over the past year, which is about double the number who left their jobs during fiscal years 2017 and 2018. The reasoning of individuals judges for leaving their posts varies widely, from choosing retirement to accepting other positions within the immigration court system. However, many judges have expressed profound frustration at the Trump Administration’s policy changes, which have greatly affected their authority to make decisions in immigration cases.
Currently, the U.S. Department of Justice, which runs the immigration court system, is drowning in an unprecedented backlog of over one million cases, which has pushed court dates years into the future. In response to what many perceive as a growing crisis, the Justice Department has hired more immigration judges, taking the number of current judges, which is 465 or more, to an all-time high. Thus far, however, expanded hiring practices have not done anything to quell the increasing backlog of pending cases.
Some of the policy changes that have diminished the authority of immigration judges include:
- Imposing case quotas that immigration judges must hear and dispose of each year to obtain favorable evaluations
- Using the power of the Attorney General over the Justice Department to unilaterally reverse rulings by immigration judges
- Limited the discretion of judges hearing immigration cases
- Moved to decertify the immigration judges’ union
- Gave more power to the director of the Executive Office of Immigration Review to decide cases if appeals are not completed within a specific timeframe
Although policies have changed regularly from one administration to the next, some judges state that the changes made by the Trump Administration are unparalleled. Some even claim that the Administration is molding the immigration court to further an anti-immigrant agenda. Whatever your situation may be, you will need skilled legal assistance to work toward a resolution of your immigration matter.
The Texas immigration attorneys of Peek & Toland know how to help you navigate through the maze of immigration forms, regulations, and policies, and get the relief that you need. Take the first step today and secure the future of your family in the U.S. Contact our office today and set up an evaluation with one of our highly skilled Texas immigration lawyers.