President Trump Seeks to Impose Judicial Production Quotas on Immigration Judges
Dallas, TX (Law Firm Newswire) November 17, 2017 – The Trump administration released a statement of immigration principles that includes “performance metrics” for judges in immigration cases.
As part of a list of immigration policies which the president wants to implement, the administration said it would push to reduce the backlog of pending immigration court cases, including the hiring of 370 additional immigration judges and 1,000 additional U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) attorneys, along with support personnel. But the President’s plan would also establish “performance metrics” for judges in immigration cases. The Justice Department, which runs immigration courts through the Executive Office for Immigration Review, stated that “numeric performance standards” would be implemented to evaluate judges. Critics warned that production quotas or similar measures would endanger judicial independence and due process.
“With a national immigration court backlog of 600,000+ cases, President Trump’s plan to impose production quotas on immigration judges attacks due process by compressing the time needed to carefully decide cases, thereby placing speed over the quality of decisions,” said Stewart Rabinowitz, a Dallas, Texas immigration attorney with Rabinowitz & Rabinowitz, P.C. “The administration’s plan also compromises judicial independence by giving new meaning to ‘rush to judgment’ to meet preset quotas,” Rabinowitz added. “A better approach is to further increase the number of immigration judges.”
Production quotas would be the “death knell for judicial independence,” according to the National Association of Immigration Judges (NAIJ). The association said that establishing such performance metrics would be unprecedented and may violate a federal regulation requiring judges to use their independent judgment and discretion.