AILA Public Statements, Press Releases

AG Sessions’ Remarks Emphasize Need for Independent Immigration Courts

9/10/18 AILA Doc. No. 18091042. Asylum, Removal & Relief
George Tzamaras
Tessa Wiseman


WASHINGTON, DC – Today, in a speech to a gathering of newly minted immigration judges, Attorney General Jeff Sessions further revealed his contempt for the fundamental principles of America’s legal system, as well as for those in the legal profession who dare to challenge his narrow view of the world. The Attorney General compared immigration lawyers and federal criminal defense lawyers to “water seeping under an earthen dam,” and perfunctorily concluded that they have no duty or interest in upholding the integrity of the system. These comments are a shocking statement from the nation’s chief law enforcement officer and reflect his disdain for lawyers who take a solemn oath to uphold the law, as well as a complete disregard for the role of independent judges in overseeing our adversarial system. America’s judicial system is the envy of the world, and the lawyers and independent judges who are sworn to uphold its integrity play a critical role in protecting it.


AILA calls on the Attorney General to retract his offensive comments and calls on Congress to pass legislation to create an Article I immigration court, one that is independent from the Department of Justice and that ensures a robust process and an unbiased arbiter.




The American Immigration Lawyers Association is the national association of immigration lawyers established to promote justice, advocate for fair and reasonable immigration law and policy, advance the quality of immigration and nationality law and practice, and enhance the professional development of its members.

Share on Social Media

  • In a speech to newly appointed judges, AG Sessions attacked immigration lawyers and their efforts to represent their clients. His remarks demonstrate the ongoing need to establish an independent immigration court system. Read @AILANational's press release: