Immigration Removal Adjudication

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Committee: 
Immigration Removal Adjudication in stage 8. Implementation

Project Stages:

1. Gather ideas - Completed
2. Select ideas - Completed
3. Council approval - Completed
4. Picking a researcher - Completed
5. Committee consideration - Completed
6. Back to the council - Completed
7. Consideration by the full conference - Completed
8. Implementation - Current
Stage:  
8. Implementation
Status Notes:  
Adopted June 15, 2012.

Contacts

Project Advisor
202.480.2098
folorunnipa@acus.gov
Staff Counsel
202.480.2097
awilliams@acus.gov
Consultant
Lenni B. Benson
Law Professor
New York School of Law
Consultant
Russell Wheeler
Visiting Fellow, Governance Studies
Brookings Institution
Media
202.480.2091
mkindelan@acus.gov

Background Information: One of the biggest challenges in mass adjudication programs is the queue of pending deportation proceedings. A study issued in August 2010 by the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse at Syracuse University reports that the number of cases pending before immigration courts within the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) recently reached an all-time high of nearly 248,000 and that the average time these cases have been pending is 459 days. A February 2010 study by the American Bar Association’s Commission on Immigration reports that the number of cases is “overwhelming” the resources that have been dedicated to resolving them.

Project Details: The Conference undertook an  extensive study of potential improvements to the procedures for immigration removal adjudication. Conference consultants, Professor Lenni B. Benson of New York Law School and Russell R. Wheeler of the Brookings Institution and the Governance Institute conducted detailed research. The study was  limited to such procedures and did not address substantive immigration reform. The study addressed a variety of possible ways to improve immigration removal adjudication and identified the most fruitful areas to target. Potential areas of improvement included:

Representation. The ABA study suggests that improving representation of noncitizens in immigration proceedings could benefit not only noncitizens, but also government decision- makers and the overall system by making cases clearer and more efficient, promoting fairer results, and, in some cases, persuading noncitizens to abandon their cases because they have no basis for relief. The Conference’s study cataloged existing barriers to representation, which may be legal, practical, technological, or financial; identified ways to overcome these barriers, including creative methods that might not require much additional funding; and estimated the costs and benefits for both private parties and the government if the barriers could be overcome.

Management Practices at EOIR. The ABA study suggests numerous issues with case management at the Executive Office for Immigration Review. These issues involve both the trial-level immigration courts and the Board of Immigration Appeals. The study thoroughly considered case management at both levels.

Video Hearings. Video conferencing offers potential efficiency benefits, but critics have suggested that it may hamper communication and credibility determinations. The study considered the best uses of video conferencing.

Other Areas for Improvement. The study reviewed a number of other areas and formulated recommendations for improvements to the system of immigration removal adjudication.

Additional Information: The Immigration Removal Adjudication project was assigned to the Committee on Adjudication, which held six meetings between January and May 2012 to discuss the project, various drafts of the report and various drafts of the recommendation.  At the sixth meeting, which took place on Monday, May 7, 2012, the Committee on Adjudication approved a draft recommendation. The Council approved the draft recommendation with certain revisions, and the full Assembly of the Conference voted to approve the recommendation at its Plenary Session on June 15, 2012.  All relevant documents connected with this project are posted below.

Final Recommendation

Recommendation 2012-3, “Immigration Removal Adjudication,” addresses the problem of case backlogs in immigration removals. The recommendation suggests a number of ways to enhance efficiency and fairness in these cases. Officials from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Department of Justice's Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) had significant and helpful input during the committee process...

Implementation

At its 56th Plenary Session on June 14-15, 2012, the Administrative Conference adopted Recommendation 2012-3, Immigration Removal Adjudication. This recommendation addresses the problem of case backlogs in immigration removals, and suggests ways to enhance efficiency and fairness in these cases.  DHS and DOJ’s EOIR had significant and helpful input during the committee process.

 

Project Documents

Name Committee Type Datesort descending
Full Outline of Immigration Adjudication Project Adjudication Outline April 11, 2011 Download
Public Comment Adjudication Public Comment April 19, 2011 Download
Short Outline of Immigration Adjudication Project Adjudication Outline April 22, 2011 Download
Public Comment (5/13/11) Adjudication Member Comment May 13, 2011 Download
Consultants' Outline for 1/25/12 Meeting Adjudication Outline January 12, 2012 Download
First Draft Report of Immigration Adjudication Project Adjudication Report January 12, 2012 Download
Committee Meeting Webcast Adjudication Webcast January 25, 2012 Watch Video
Public Comment (2/13/12) Adjudication Member Comment February 13, 2012 Download
Public Comment (2/17/12) (No. 2) Adjudication Member Comment February 17, 2012 Download
Public Comment (2/17/12) (No. 3) Adjudication Member Comment February 17, 2012 Download
Revised Draft Report of Immigration Adjudication Project Adjudication Report February 17, 2012 Download
Memo to Committee Re: 2/22/12 Meeting Adjudication Public Comment February 17, 2012 Download
Public Comment (2/17/12) (No. 1) Adjudication Member Comment February 17, 2012 Download
Committee Meeting Webcast Adjudication Webcast February 22, 2012 Watch Video
Asylum-Related Material from Interim Draft Recommendation Committee Memo Adjudication Memorandum March 5, 2012 Download
Revised Sections of Draft Report - Immigration Adjudication Project for 4/5/12 Meeting Adjudication Report March 5, 2012 Download
National Immigration Forum Comment Adjudication Public Comment March 6, 2012 Download
Committee Meeting Webcast Adjudication Webcast March 12, 2012 Watch Video
Memo to Committee Re: 4/5/12 Meeting Adjudication Public Comment March 29, 2012 Download
Committee Meeting Webcast Adjudication Webcast April 5, 2012 Watch Video
Immigration Adjudication Project Revised Draft Report Adjudication Report April 16, 2012 Download
Draft Recommendation-Immigration Removal Adjudication Adjudication Recommendation April 19, 2012 Download
Public Comment (5/3/12) Adjudication Member Comment May 3, 2012 Download
Revised Draft Recommendation-Immigration Removal Adjudication Adjudication Recommendation May 4, 2012 Download
Committee Meeting Webcast Adjudication Webcast May 7, 2012 Watch Video
Committee on Adjudication Meeting Minutes Adjudication Meeting Minutes May 7, 2012 Download
Revised Sections of Draft Report - Immigration Adjudication Project for 3/12/12 Meeting Adjudication Report May 12, 2012 Download
Immigration Removal Adjudication Report Adjudication Report June 7, 2012 Download
Immigration Removal Adjudication - Document Cross Referencing Proposed Recommendation and Report Adjudication Recommendation June 14, 2012 Download
Immigration Removal Adjudication - Redlined Proposed Recommendation Containing Amendments and Comments Adjudication Recommendation June 14, 2012 Download
Proposed Recommendation: Immigration Removal Adjudication Adjudication Recommendation June 14, 2012 Download
Redlined Recommendation Containing Amendments and Comments: Immigration Removal Adjudication Redline Adjudication Report June 14, 2012 Download
Document Cross Referencing Proposed Recommendation and Report: Cross Reference Document Adjudication Recommendation June 14, 2012 Download
Immigration Removal Adjudication Adjudication Recommendation June 15, 2012 Download

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