AILA Public Statements, Press Releases

Biden Administration Rightly Removes Artificial Quotas for Immigration Judges

10/21/21 AILA Doc. No. 21102105. Removal & Relief

WASHINGTON, DC – The American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) welcomed news that the Biden administration has removed the artificial quotas imposed on immigration judges by the Trump administration. The Trump administration had imposed case completion quotas as part of the performance review process for immigration judges, requiring them to finish 700 cases per year or face disciplinary action.

AILA President-Elect Jeremy McKinney stated, “It is heartening to see the Biden administration rescinding these quotas as part of an effort to return integrity to the life and death decisions immigration judges make every day. AILA opposed these quotas from the start, knowing that with a clock constantly ticking over their heads, judges cannot possibly issue well-reasoned decisions that carefully weigh the facts and applicable law in each person’s case. Removing these quotas is an important step forward.”

AILA Senior Associate Director for Government Relations Kate Voigt urged further action, “While eliminating the quotas is vital, we remain concerned that other Trump-era policies continue to undercut the integrity and independence of our immigration courts. For instance, Immigration Adjudications Centers (IACS) – black box, remote-only facilities that undermine due process – have been expanded, and this administration is returning to the use of tent courts which were widely condemned during the Trump administration because of due process concerns. President Biden knows he must reduce the overwhelming backlog of 1.4 million cases, but the solution cannot be to speed up court hearings at the expense of justice, which unfortunately Attorney General Garland has resorted to. We cannot afford to have our immigration courts battered by the changing winds of politics. Congress must create a permanent, independent court system under Article I of the Constitution to safeguard judicial integrity and impartiality.”