Immigration System Stakeholders Praise Findings, Recommendations of ABA Report
The critical factors that led to the recent American Bar Association report on reforming the immigration adjudication system were examined Friday by legal experts deeply involved in the study’s creation and with this troubling issue. The discussion came during the ABA Midyear Meeting program Hot Off the Presses: A Call for Reform of the Immigration Adjudication System.
The nearly 500-page report, “Reforming the Immigration System: Proposals to Promote Independence, Fairness, Efficiency, and Professionalism in the Adjudication of Removal Cases,” announced Tuesday at a news conference in Washington, D.C., was undertaken 18 months ago by the ABA Commission on Immigration that “recognized that we had reached a crisis point in the adjudication of immigration detention issues,” said commission member Andrew Schoenholtz.
The report represents the opinions of the authors and editors and should not be construed to be those of either the ABA or the commission unless and until adopted pursuant to the bylaws of the association. They are set to come to a vote when the ABA policy making House of Delegates meets Feb. 8 – 9 during the association’s Midyear Meeting in Orlando, Fla.
Panelists described a court system choked by enormous problems generated by lack of representation for immigrants at every level of the immigration adjudication system, and a serious lack of staff, technology and other resources.
The panel included: Schoenholtz, Institute for the Study of International Migration, Georgetown University Law Center; Lawrence Schneider, who led the effort in creating the report, with the law firm of Arnold & Porter LLP; Judge Denise Noonan Slavin, National Association of Immigration Judges; and Deborah Lee, Florida Immigrant Advocacy Center. The program was moderated by commission Chair Karen Grisez.
Among key recommendations of the report—establishing Article One Immigration Courts.
Slavin voiced the support of the National Association of Immigration Judges on this issue.
Lee noted the critical need for legal representation for children caught in immigration removal proceedings.