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Performance quotas proposed for immigration judges

People in Riverside County likely understand the need for certain industries to have performance standards and quotas. Yet there are others where, despite a heavy workload, prudence and patience may be needed in order to ensure optimal outcomes. One might certainly think that the judicial system (particularly in regards to immigration law) falls into that category. One certainly would not want to prompt a rush to judgment in a judicial proceeding. At the same time, others might make a legitimate argument that some see such independence as an excuse to allow legal matters to drag on unnecessarily. 

That is the argument being made currently by the Trump Administration, and recent immigration reform recommendations are specifically designed to address it. Amidst proposals submitted earlier this week, the President recommended introducing performance standards for federal immigration judges. This comes on top of actions already taken to remove limits on enforcement in immigration cases and stated intentions to seek added funding to more than double the current number of immigration judges. All of these initiatives are said to be aimed at clearing up the backlog of 690,000 immigration cases currently in the system. 

Immigration judges and advocacy groups, however, have already begun to voice their opposition to this move. They claim it will eliminate their judicial independence and not allow them the time needed to fairly adjudicate cases. They cite reasons outside of their control, such as a lack of funding and inherent disadvantages immigrants face in arguing their cases as the reason behind the massive backlog. 

Regardless of which side one falls on in this debate, it may serve as yet another reminder of the fluidity of U.S. immigration policy. Those needing assistance with their cases relative to such guidelines may find it through an experienced immigration attorney. 

Source: The Salt Lake Tribune "Justice Department proposes quotas for immigration judges, drawing pushback" Sacchetti, Maria, Oct. 13, 2017

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