WASHINGTON, DC, July 11, 2019 – On a press call today, representatives from the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), the American Bar Association (ABA), the National Association of Immigration Judges (NAIJ), and the Federal Bar Association (FBA) discussed the need for an immigration court system that is independent of the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ). Speakers from these organizations – whose members are closely associated with the practice of immigration law and the administration of justice – discussed how the misuse of immigration courts leaves them vulnerable to political pressure and threatens due process, and how chronic and systemic problems have resulted in a severe lack of public confidence in the system itself. Recent reports that video courts will be set up on the border further reveal that this due process crisis is more urgent than ever.
The press call followed the transmittal of a letter calling on Congress to establish an immigration court independent of the executive branch agency responsible for prosecuting immigrants in federal court. This is the first time these four organization have joined together to call for Congressional action.