ACUS Recommendation Aimed At Streamlining Immigration Courts To Reduce Caseload Backlog Garners Press Attention

At its June 2012 Plenary Session, the Administrative Conference of the United States approved an unprecedented recommendation aimed at streamlining federal immigration courts.  ACUS Recommendation 2012-3, entitled “Immigration Removal Adjudication,” was adopted by the Conference on June 15, 2012 and includes a number of changes aimed at easing the more than 300,000 pending cases in the immigration courts, where it can take an average of 519 days from introduction to a judge’s decision. The Recommendation was formally adopted by the Conference after a rigorous process that involved six meetings of the Committee on Adjudication and numerous discussions with key stakeholders at the U.S. Department of Justice’s Executive Office for Immigration Review, the Department of Homeland Security and representatives from a number of public interest groups. The Committee meeting process was successfully spearheaded by Conference Committee on Adjudication Chair, John Vittone with the support of Conference Attorney Advisor Funmi Olorunnipa. The Recommendation is based, in part, on a very detailed Report by ACUS Consultants, Professor Lenni B. Benson of New York Law School and Russell R. Wheeler of the Governance Institute and the Brookings Institution.  The Recommendation comes at a time when immigration issues have received significant press attention.  Among a number of recent news stories about immigration issues, coverage of Recommendation 2012-3 appeared in this story by the Cronkite News Service.  For more details about this Recommendation and the Immigration Removal Adjudication project generally, visit the Project Page.