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CEO DATELINE – American Bar Association calls for major overhaul of immigration courts

March 22, 2019
By Walt Williams

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The U.S. immigration court system is on “the brink of collapse” and in need of major reforms, the American Bar Association said Wednesday.

ABA released a 72-page report detailing problems with the nation’s immigration system and put forward more than 100 proposals for fixing them, CNN reported. One of the group’s major recommendations would be to create an Article 1 court independent from the Justice Department that could handle the more than 800,000 cases pending in the current immigration court system.

“The immigration courts are facing an existential crisis,” the report’s authors said. “The current system is irredeemably dysfunctional and on the brink of collapse.”

ABA last studied the U.S. immigration system in 2010. The group said the state of immigration courts had “worsened considerably” since then. The authors specifically noted the “unprecedented backlog of cases, increased wait times, policy changes that aim to accelerate cases without allocating enough funding, over-reliance on video teleconferencing during court proceedings and possible bias in the hiring of judges,” according to CNN.

The Justice Department, which runs the immigration court system, did not immediately respond to CNN’s request for comment.