HuffPost: Sessions Reinstates Dangerous Private Prisons — Health & Safety of Inmates Takes Back Seat to Expediency And Profits For Private Prison Industry!

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/doj-private-prisons-sessions_us_58af529ce4b0a8a9b780669a

Ryan J. Reilly a Ben Walsh report:

“WASHINGTON ― Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Thursday withdrew an Obama-era Justice Department memo that set a goal of reducing and ultimately ending the Justice Department’s use of private prisons.

In a one-page memo to the acting head of the Bureau of Prisons, Sessions wrote that the August 2016 memo by former Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates “changed long-standing policy and practice, and impaired the Bureau’s ability to meet the future needs of the federal correctional system.”

A Justice Department spokesman said Sessions’ memo “directs the Bureau of Prisons to return to its previous approach to the use of private prisons,” which would “restore BOP’s flexibility to manage the federal prison inmate population based on capacity needs.”

BOP currently has 12 private prison contracts that hold around 21,000 inmates. Yates had said that private prisons compared “poorly” to BOP prisons. Her memo followed a damning report from the Justice Department’s inspector general which found that privately run facilities were more dangerous than those run by BOP.

The two largest private prison companies have told investors that they have room to accommodate increased use of their prisons by federal or state and local authorities. On an earnings call with stock analysts this week, executives at GEO Group emphasized that their company has a total of 5,000 spots in its prisons that are presently either unused or underutilized.

GEO senior vice President David Donahue put it fairly bluntly, telling analysts that their idle and underutilized cells are “immediately available and meet ICE’s national detention standards.”

CoreCivic, formerly known as CCA, told investors on Feb. 17 that the company has nine idle prisons that can hold a total of 8,700 people. Those prisons are ready to accept inmates on short notice. “All of our idle facilities are modern and well maintained, and can be made available to potential state and federal partners without much, if any capital investment or the lead-time required for new construction,” CEO Damon Hininger said.

Indeed, Haninger said that CoreCivic was already holding more detained immigrants for the federal government than they anticipated. “Our financial performance in the fourth quarter of 2016 was well above our initial forecast due, in large part, to heightened utilization by ICE across the portfolio,” he said.

And, Haninger said, the Trump administration’s actions could boost financial performance even further. “When coupled with the above average rate crossings along the Southwest border, these executive orders appear likely to significantly increase the need for safe, humane and appropriate detention bed capacity that we have available in our existing real-estate portfolio,” he said. “We are well positioned,” to get more business from ICE, Haninger said.

David C. Fathi, who directs the American Civil Liberties Union’s National Prison Project, said that giving for-profit companies control of prisons is “a recipe for abuse and neglect.” He said the Sessions memo was a further sign the U.S. “may be headed for a new federal prison boom” under the Trump administration.”

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The disaster of Jeff Sessions as U.S. Attorney General continues to unfold. Contrary to what he told Senators during his contentious confirmation hearings, he’s the same old tone-deaf, insensitive, hard-liner he’s always been. There will be wrongful death suits in Sessions’s future naming him personally. While these so-called “Bivens actions” are usually a steep uphill climb for plaintiffs, given that Sessions acted with knowledge of both the Inspector General’s highly negative findings and his predecessor’s resulting action to curb private prison use, there could be a case there. I hope he took out personal liability insurance and got the highest amount of coverage. He might need it before his tenure is up.

And, as for the inmates and civil immigration detainees who are going to be kept in substandard conditions, I guess it’s just “tough noogies” as far as Sessions is concerned.

PWS

 

Zoe Tillman on BuzzFeed: U.S. Immigration Courts Are Overwhelmed — Administration’s New Enforcement Priorities Could Spell Disaster! (I’m Quoted In This Article, Along With Other Current & Former U.S. Immigration Judges)

https://www.buzzfeed.com/zoetillman/backlogged-immigration-courts-pose-problems-for-trumps-plans?utm_term=.pokrzE6BW#.wcMKevdYG

Zoe Tillman reports:

“ARLINGTON, Va. — In a small, windowless courtroom on the second floor of an office building, Judge Rodger Harris heard a string of bond requests on Tuesday morning from immigrants held in jail as they faced deportation.
The detainees appeared by video from detention facilities elsewhere in the state. Harris, an immigration judge since 2007, used a remote control to move the camera around in his courtroom so the detainees could see their lawyers appearing in-person before the judge, if they had one. The lawyers spoke about their clients’ family ties, job history, and forthcoming asylum petitions, and downplayed any previous criminal record.
In cases where Harris agreed to set bond — the amounts ranged from $8,000 to $20,000 — he had the same message for the detainees: if they paid bond and were set free until their next court date, it would mean a delay in their case. Hearings set for March or April would be pushed back until at least the summer, he said.
But a couple of months is nothing compared to timelines that some immigration cases are on now. Judges and lawyers interviewed by BuzzFeed News described hearings scheduled four, five, or even six years out. Already facing a crushing caseload, immigration judges are bracing for more strain as the Trump administration pushes ahead with an aggressive ramp-up of immigration enforcement with no public commitment so far to aid backlogged courts.
Immigration courts, despite their name, are actually an arm of the US Department of Justice. The DOJ seal — with the Latin motto “qui pro domina justitia sequitur,” which roughly translates to, “who prosecutes on behalf of justice” — hung on the wall behind Harris in his courtroom in Virginia. Lawyers from the US Department of Homeland Security prosecute cases. Rulings can be appealed to the Board of Immigration Appeals, which is also part of the Justice Department, and then to a federal appeals court.
As of the end of January, there were more than 540,000 cases pending in immigration courts. President Trump signed executive orders in late January that expanded immigration enforcement priorities and called for thousands of additional enforcement officers and border patrol officers. But the orders are largely silent on immigration courts, where there are dozens of vacant judgeships. And beyond filling the vacancies, the union of immigration judges says more judges are needed to handle the caseload, as well as more space, technological upgrades, and other resources.
Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly acknowledged the immigration court backlog in a memorandum released this week that provided new details about how the department would carry out Trump’s orders. Kelly lamented the “unacceptable delay” in immigration court cases that allowed individuals who illegally entered the United States to remain here for years.
The administration hasn’t announced plans to increase the number of immigration judges or to provide more funding and resources. It also isn’t clear yet if immigration judges and court staff are exempt from a government-wide hiring freeze that Trump signed shortly after he took office. There are 73 vacancies in immigration courts, out of 374 judgeships authorized by Congress.
“Everybody’s pretty stressed,” said Paul Schmidt, who retired as an immigration judge in June. “How are you going to throw more cases into a court with 530,000 pending cases? It isn’t going to work.”

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Zoe Tillman provides a well-reaserched and accurate description of the dire situation of justice in the U.S. Immigration Courts and the poorly conceived and uncoordinated enforcement initiatives of the Trump Administration. Sadly, lives and futures of “real life human beings” are at stake here.

Here’s a “shout out” to my good friend and former colleague Judge Rodger Harris who always does a great job of providing due process and justice on the highly stressful Televideo detained docket at the U.S. Immigration Court in Arlington, VA. Thanks for all you do for our system of justice and the cause of due process, Judge Harris.

PWS

02/24/17

U.S. Immigration Courts: 12 New U.S. Immigration Judges Invested — Here Are Their Bios!

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, February 6, 2017
Executive Office for Immigration Review Swears in 12 Immigration Judges

FALLS CHURCH, VA – The Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) today announced the investiture of 12 new immigration judges. Chief Immigration Judge MaryBeth Keller presided over the investiture during a ceremony held Feb. 3, 2017, in the ceremonial courtroom of the E. Barrett Prettyman U.S. Courthouse, in Washington, D.C.

After a thorough application process, Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch appointed Victoria L. Argumendo, Steven D. Caley, Ila C. Deiss, Delia I. Gonzalez, Deborah K. Goodwin, Stephanie E. Gorman, Richard A. Jamadar, Julie Nelson, Emmett D. Soper, Jem C. Sponzo, Arwen Ann Swink, and Veronica S. Villegas to their new positions.

“On Jan. 8, 2017, we welcomed these 12 appointees to our growing immigration judge corps,” said Keller. “With this investment, EOIR has for the first time in its history exceeded 300 immigration judges. The agency recognizes that we must continue hiring immigration judges in order to address the pending caseload.”

Biographical information follows.

Victoria L. Argumendo, Immigration Judge, San Francisco Immigration Court

Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch appointed Victoria L. Argumendo to begin hearings cases in February 2017. Judge Argumendo earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1995 from the University of Vermont and a Juris Doctor in 2000 from the Golden Gate University School of Law. From 2012 to January 2017, she was in private practice at Argumendo Garzon Law Group, in San Francisco. From 2010 through 2012, she was in private practice at Surowitz & Argumendo, in San Francisco. From 2002 through 2010, she was in private practice at the Law Office of Victoria L. Argumendo, in San Francisco. From 2001 through 2002, she was an associate attorney at the Law Offices of Walter R. Pineda, in Redwood City, Calif. From May 2001 to September 2001, she served as a contract attorney for the Law Office of Enrique Ramirez, in San Francisco. From February 2001 to May 2001, she served as a contract attorney for Minami, Lew & Tamaki. Judge Argumendo is a member of the State Bar of California.

Steven D. Caley, Immigration Judge, Aurora Immigration Court

Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch appointed Steven D. Caley to begin hearings cases in February 2017. Judge Caley earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1977 from Hanover College and a Juris Doctor in 1980 from the New York University School of Law. From 2012 to January 2017, he served as a senior attorney for GreenLaw, in Atlanta. From 2000 through 2012, he was a partner and senior associate for Weissman, Nowack, Curry & Wilco, in Atlanta. From 2005 through 2006, and previously from 1996 through 1999, he served as a special administrative law judge for the Office of State Administrative Hearings, in Atlanta. From 1998 through 2000, he served as regional director for Legal Aid Services of Oregon, in Portland, Ore. From 1990 through 1998, he served as director of litigation for the Atlanta Legal Aid Society Inc., in Atlanta. From 1980 through 1990, he served in various capacities for the Legal Services Corporation of Alabama, in Dotham, Ala., including as managing attorney, senior staff attorney, and staff attorney. From 2003 through 2007, he served on the faculty of the Georgia State University College of Law as an adjunct professor. Judge Caley is a member of the Alabama State Bar, Florida Bar, State Bar of Georgia, and Oregon State Bar.

Ila C. Deiss, Immigration Judge, San Francisco Immigration Court

Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch appointed Ila C. Deiss to begin hearing cases in February 2017. Judge Deiss earned Bachelor of Arts degrees in 1991 from the University of California at Davis, a Master of Public Administration in 1996 from the Robert F. Wagner Graduate School for Public Service, and a Juris Doctor in 1999 from the City University of New York School of Law. From 2005 to January 2017, she served as an assistant U.S. attorney for the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Northern District of California, Department of Justice (DOJ). From 2003 through 2005, she served as a staff attorney for the U. S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, DOJ. From 2001 through 2002, she served as a senior court counsel for the Supreme Court of the Republic of Palau. From April 2001 to August 2001, she served as a judicial law clerk for the Honorable Richard M. Berman, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York. From 1999 through 2001, she served as a judicial law clerk for the Staff Attorney’s Office, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, DOJ. Judge Deiss is a member of the Connecticut and New York state bars.

Delia I. Gonzalez, Immigration Judge, Harlingen Immigration Court

Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch appointed Delia I. Gonzalez to begin hearing cases in February 2017. Judge Gonzalez earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1993 from the University of Houston and a Juris Doctor in 2001 from the Texas Southern University Thurgood Marshall School of Law. From 2006 through 2016, she served as an assistant chief counsel for the Office of the Chief Counsel, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Department of Homeland Security. From 2001 through 2006, she served as a trial attorney for the Antitrust Division, Department of Justice, entering on duty through the Attorney General’s Honors Program. Judge Gonzalez is a member of the State Bar of Texas.

Deborah K. Goodwin, Immigration Judge, Miami Immigration Court

Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch appointed Deborah K. Goodwin to begin hearings cases in February 2017. Judge Goodwin earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1986 from Wilson College and a Juris Doctor in 2000 from the State University of New York at Buffalo School of Law. From 2015 to January 2017, she served as an associate legal advisor for the District Court Litigation Division, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Department of Homeland Security (DHS), in Washington, D.C. From 2007 through 2015, she served as an associate counsel for U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, DHS, in San Francisco. From 2002 through 2007, she served as an assistant chief counsel for ICE, DHS, in San Francisco. Judge Goodwin is a member of the Florida Bar.

Stephanie E. Gorman, Immigration Judge, Houston Immigration Court

Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch appointed Stephanie E. Gorman to begin hearing cases in February 2017. Judge Gorman earned a Bachelor of Science degree in 1996 from California State University Sacramento, a Juris Doctor in 2002 from the Thomas Jefferson School of Law, and a Master of Laws degree in 2005 from the University of San Diego School of Law. From 2014 to January 2017, she served as an attorney and legal instructor for the Office of the Chief Counsel, Customs and Border Protection, Department of Homeland Security (DHS). From 2008 through 2014, she served as an assistant chief counsel for the Office of the Principal Legal Advisor, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, DHS. From 2009 through 2012, she also served as a special assistant U.S. attorney for the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Middle District of Florida, Department of Justice (DOJ), in Orlando, Fla. From 2007 through 2008, she served as a federal law clerk for the Honorable M. James Lorenz, U.S. District Court for the Ninth Circuit, Southern District of California, DOJ, in San Diego. From March 2007 to September 2007, she served as a federal law clerk for the Honorable Roger T. Benitez, U.S. District Court for the Ninth Circuit, Southern District of California, in San Diego. From 2006 through 2007, she served as an assistant state attorney for the Twelfth Judicial Circuit, in Sarasota, Fla. From 2003 through 2006, she served in various capacities on the faculty of the Thomas Jefferson School of Law, including as visiting assistant professor of law and senior legal writing instructor and adjunct professor. From 2002 through 2004, she served as an associate attorney for the Law Office of Matthew P. Rocco, in Carlsbad, Fla. Judge Gorman is a member of the State Bar of California and the Florida Bar.

Richard A. Jamadar, Immigration Judge, Houston Immigration Court

Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch appointed Richard A. Jamadar to begin hearing cases in February 2017. Judge Jamadar earned a Bachelor of Laws degree in 1987 from the University of the West Indies Faculty of Law and a Juris Doctor in 1996 from the Washington University School of Law. From 2004 to January 2017, he served as an assistant chief counsel for the Office of the Chief Counsel, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Department of Homeland Security, in Orlando, Fla. During this time, from 2011 through 2013, he served as a special assistant U.S. attorney for the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Middle District of Florida, Department of Justice, in Orlando, Fla. From 2003 through 2004, he served as a senior attorney for the Department of Children and Families, Tenth Judicial Circuit, in Bartow, Fla. From 1999 through 2002, he served as an assistant state attorney for the State Attorney’s Office, Ninth Judicial Circuit, in Orlando, Fla. From 1996 through 1998, he served as an associate attorney for Polatsek and Scalfani, in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Judge Jamadar is a member of the Florida Bar.

Julie Nelson, Immigration Judge, San Francisco Immigration Court

Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch appointed Julie Nelson to begin hearing cases in February 2017. Judge Nelson earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in 2003 from Biola University and a Juris Doctor in 2006 from California Western School of Law. From December 2014 to January 2017, and previously from 2009 through May 2014, she served as an assistant chief counsel for the Office of the Principal Legal Advisor, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Department of Homeland Security. From June 2014 to November 2014, she served as a law clerk for the Honorable Steven P. Logan, U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona, Department of Justice (DOJ). From 2008 through 2009, she served as an attorney advisor for the Los Angeles Immigration Court, Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR), DOJ. From 2007 through 2008, she served as a judicial law clerk for the San Diego Immigration Court, EOIR, DOJ, entering on duty through the Attorney General’s Honors Program. From 2007 through 2009, she served on the faculty of Biola University as an adjunct professor. Judge Nelson is a member of State Bar of California.

Emmett D. Soper, Immigration Judge, Arlington Immigration Court

Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch appointed Emmett D. Soper to begin hearing cases in February 2017. Judge Soper earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1998 from Carleton College and a Juris Doctor in 2005 from the University of Oregon School of Law. From 2012 to January 2017, he served as an associate general counsel for the Office of the General Counsel, Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR), Department of Justice (DOJ), in Falls Church, Va. From 2010 through 2012, he served as an attorney advisor for the Office of Legal Policy, DOJ, in Washington, D.C. From 2006 through 2010, he served as an attorney advisor for the Office of the Chief Immigration Judge, EOIR, DOJ, in Falls Church, Va. From 2005 through 2006, he served as a judicial law clerk for the Buffalo Immigration Court, EOIR, DOJ. Judge Soper is a member of the Oregon State Bar.

Jem C. Sponzo, Immigration Judge, New York City Immigration Court

Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch appointed Jem C. Sponzo to begin hearings cases in February 2017. Judge Sponzo earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in 2003 from Hamilton College and a Juris Doctor in 2006 from the University of Connecticut School of Law. From 2007 to January 2017, she served as a trial attorney for the Civil Division, Office of Immigration Litigation, Department of Justice (DOJ), in Washington, D.C. From January 2015 to July 2015, she also served as a clearance counsel for the Office of Presidential Personnel, White House. From 2006 through 2007, she served as a judicial law clerk for the New York City Immigration Court, Executive Office for Immigration Review, DOJ, entering on duty through the Attorney General’s Honors Program. Judge Sponzo is a member of the New York State Bar.

Arwen Ann Swink, Immigration Judge, San Francisco Immigration Court

Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch appointed Arwen Ann Swink to begin hearing cases in February 2017. Judge Swink earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in 2002 from California State University San Marcos and a Juris Doctor in 2006 from the University of California Hastings College Of Law. Prior to this post, she served as a staff attorney in the motions unit of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, in San Francisco, beginning in 2010. From 2006 through 2010, she served as an associate attorney for the Law Office of Robert B. Jobe, in San Francisco. Judge Swink is a member of the State Bar of California.

Veronica S. Villegas, Immigration Judge, Los Angeles Immigration Court

Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch appointed Veronica S. Villegas to begin hearing cases in February 2017. Judge Villegas earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1996 from California State University Fullerton and a Juris Doctor in 1999 from the Loyola Law School. From 2012 to January 2017, and previously from 2004 through 2005, she was in private practice at the Law Office of Veronica S. Villegas, in West Covina, Calif. From 2005 through 2012, she was a partner at Hill, Piibe & Villegas, in West Covina, Calif. From 2003 through 2004, she served as an assistant chief counsel for the Office of the Chief Counsel, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Department of Homeland Security. From 1999 through 2003, she served as an assistant district counsel for the former Office of the District Counsel, Immigration and Naturalization Service, Department of Justice. Judge Villegas is a member of the State Bar of California.

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PWS

02/07/17

AP (Via Washington Times): More Coverage Of “Keller Memo” Eliminating “Rocket Dockets” In Immigration Court — Let Me Know If You Have Seen Changes In Your Local U.S. Immigration Court!

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2017/feb/1/immigration-courts-to-focus-on-detainees-not-kids-/?utm_source=RSS_Feed&utm_medium=RSS

ALICIA CALDWELL and AMY TAXIN – Associated Press reporting:

“The order to refocus the system’s priorities comes just days after Trump signed an executive order directing immigration agents to focus enforcement efforts on far more immigrants living in the country illegally, including anyone arrested on a criminal charge or with a criminal history.

A second order directed Homeland Security officials to detain immigrants caught crossing the border illegally and hold them until they can be deported or a judge rules on their fate.

“He’s going to keep everybody detained,” said Annaluisa Padilla, an immigration attorney in California. “There is nothing about speeding here or having people have due process in court.”

Trump’s call to detain more border crossers comes with a need for more jail space. The government has enough money to jail 34,000 people at any given time, though thousands more people have been held in recent months.

The government is looking for more jail beds, acting Immigration and Customs Enforcement Director Thomas Homan said Tuesday.

A message left for the Department of Homeland Security on Wednesday was not immediately returned.

Padilla said she worries the change means unaccompanied children with strong cases might get stuck in the backlog.

Immigration attorney Meeth Soni said she believed immigration authorities want the court to move quicker on detention cases to free up more jail space.

“In anticipation of more increased detention, and those proceedings, they’re going to have to basically make that a priority for the court,” said Soni, an attorney at the Immigrant Defenders Law Center in Los Angeles.”

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Please send me a comment if you have noticed that the “Keller Memo” has affected your local U.S. Immigration Court.

Also, seems to me that attorneys for children and families can’t have it both ways.  Ever since the beginning of the “rocket docket” they have been complaining about its adverse effect on recently arrived families and children.  Finally, Chief Judge Keller (who was recently appointed and not involved in the former Attorney General’s ill-advised decision to institute “rocket dockets” back in 2014) has been able to eliminate the “rocket docket.”  Barring very unusual circumstances, attorneys representing the “former priority cases” will just have to get in line with everyone else who has been waiting. While given the length of the wait in some Immigration Courts that’s certainly not ideal; but, it does seem fair under the circumstances.

PWS

02/03/17

 

U.S. Immigration Court: The End Of The Ill-Advised “Rocket Docket” — “Smart Leadership” By Chief U.S. Immigration Judge MaryBeth Keller Helps Restore Due Process, Equity, And Order To Immigration Court’s Daunting Docket — A “Breath Of Fresh Air” That Should Help New Administration And Individuals Who Depend On The Immigration Courts For Justice!

Trump’s Admin Ends Child Rocket Docket

Read Chief U.S. Immigration Judge MaryBeth Keller’s memorandum dated January 31, 2017, to all U.S. Immigration Judges at the link. Many thanks to Pilar Marrero over at impremedia.com for forwarding this to me.

This memorandum effectively ends the Immigration Court’s so-called “rocket docket” for recently arrived children, women, and families from the Northern Triangle of Central America, and returns the Immigration Court to a rational “single priority” for various types of detained cases.

Additionally, this returns control of Immigration Court dockets to the local U.S. Immigration Judges who are in the best position to determine how to fairly reorganize their dockets to achieve due process, fairness, and maximum efficiency. Chief Judge Keller also emphasizes that even priority cases must be scheduled, heard, and decided in accordance with due process — the overriding mission of the Immigration Courts.

This should be good news for overwhelmed pro bono organizations which have been valiantly attempting to get all of the former “priority” cases representation for Individual Hearings, most involving applications for asylum and other potentially complicated forms of protection. It should now be possible for Court Administrators and Immigration Judges to set cases in a manner that better matches the available pool of pro bono attorneys. For example, under the former system of priorities, Court Administrators were forced to set expedited Master Calendar hearings even though they knew that the local bar was already completely occupied and could not reasonably be expected to take on additional “fast track” cases.

It should also be good news for parties with long-pending cases ready for trial that were sent to the “end of the line,” often years in the future, to accommodate newer cases that actually were not yet “ready for prime time.”  The ill-advised priorities imposed by the Obama Administration have helped push the Immigration Court backlog to record heights — more than 530,000 cases and still growing. At the same time, the past priorities impaired fairness and due process at both ends of the docket.

What is not clear to me, from my “informed outsider” vantage point, is whether this policy change is driven by the Trump Administration or is something that was “in the pipeline” under the Obama Administration and has just surfaced now.  Normally, EOIR would not take such a bold move without the “go ahead” from the new Administration. If so, this would be a sensible, practical action by the Trump Administration. With increased enforcement and detention in the offing, “de-prioritizing” non-detained cases and returning control of the dockets to local Immigration Judges is most likely to set the stage for fair, timely consideration of cases, both detained and non-detained, instituted by the new Administration.  Importantly, by allowing Immigration Judges across the country to control their dockets, rather than having them manipulated by Washington, the Administration would be recognizing the advantages of having important administrative decisions made by those who are “on the scene” and have to live with the results.

By no means will this solve all of the many problems facing the Immigration Court.  But, it’s a promising development.

PWS

02/02/17