Order in the Immigration Court: Sessions Brings Metrics to Bench
America’s immigration courts are in a hole. Attorney General Jeff Sessions is digging them out.But don’t take our word for it. The Obama Justice Department acknowledged the courts’ chronic problems in a 2016 report that showed pending immigration cases skyrocketing from less than 300,000 to 457,106.And that was in the era when “catch and release” practices were at their zenith.Now that the Trump administration is expanding enforcement, particularly in the nation’s interior, the court backlog has topped 650,000 cases. So the attorney general is ordering immigration judges to step up their game, as well.Sessions is hiring more than 100 more judges – a 30 percent increase – and he’s applying long-overdue metrics aimed at improving court performance. Among them:
- 85 percent of removal cases for detainees shall be completed within three days of a hearing on the merits of the case.
- 95 percent of those merit hearings must be completed on the initial scheduled hearing date.