Advocacy Group Recommends Improvements to Immigration Courts

  
Appleseed, a non-profit justice organization based in Washington, D.C., issued a thirty-six page report calling for significant changes to the US immigration court system.  Among Appleseed’s main recommendations were de-politicizing the hiring of Immigration Judges, drastically increasing the number of judges and administrators to address severe staffing shortages, improving immigrants’ access to attorneys and ensuring more effective translations.
 
There are 55 Immigration Courts and approximately 220 Immigration Judges nationwide, including two Judges at the Immigration Court in Bloomington, Minnesota.  In 2008, US Immigration Courts decided nearly 230,000 cases, or an average of more than 1,000 cases per Judge.  As the Appleseed report points out, “this means that we are asking each Immigration Judge to make more than four potentially life-altering decisions every business day.  And the caseload is growing.”
 
The full Appleseed report, titled “Assembly Line Injustice,” is available online at: 
http://appleseednetwork.org/Portals/0/Documents/Publications/Assembly%20Line%20Injustice.pdf