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Join AILA’s Call for Independent Immigration Courts

This National Day of Action (NDA), hundreds of AILA members will be asking Congress to create an independent Article I immigration court. Join your colleagues by signing onto this letter to Congress, which will be delivered after NDA.

Honorable Majority Senate Leader Mitch McConnell
317 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, DC

Honorable Minority Senate Leader Chuck Schumer
322 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, DC

Honorable Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi
1236 Longworth House Office Building
Washington, DC

Honorable House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy
2468 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, DC

Dear members of Congress,

We write to you as members of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), the national association of more than 15,000 attorneys and law professors who practice and teach immigration law. We respectfully call on Congress to pass legislation creating an independent, Article I immigration court to restore the fundamental principles of fairness and rule of law to the American court system.

For more than a decade, America’s immigration courts have been in crisis. The court backlog has grown steadily and now exceeds one million cases. Policies implemented by the Department of Justice have stripped judges of the authority to control their dockets and made the courts less efficient. Immigration judges are being pushed to decide cases under strict quotas that compromise due process. Access to counsel and legal education programs are being restricted, despite evidence that they promote a more efficient and fair process.

From its inception, the U.S. immigration court has suffered from profound structural problems. Most striking is the conflict of interest built into the system: the immigration courts are overseen by the Attorney General, who also supervises the Department of Justice lawyers who prosecute immigration cases in federal courts. Administrations have repeatedly made policy decisions not because they are efficient or legally sound, but because they’re politically expedient. Lacking independence, the courts are no longer able to deliver just decisions in a reliable, timely manner. Public confidence in the courts has waned.

Pushed to their breaking point, the immigration courts require a permanent solution, not short-term fixes. We urge you to create an independent immigration court system to secure due process and efficiency to our legal system.


** Complete the form below to add your name to the letter **