AILA Quicktake #266: Members of Congress Call on DOJ to Reverse the Matter of M-S- Decision

AILA's Senior Policy Counsel Laura Lynch provides an update on the state of our nation’s immigration courts including the letter from 55 members of Congress to Attorney General Barr asking to reverse the Matter of M-S- and AILA’s policy brief on DOJ’s “Myth vs. Fact” document.

Video Transcript

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This week, Congressman Tony Cárdenas from California
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and Congressman Darren Soto from Florida led a group of 55 colleagues in a letter
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to U.S. Attorney General William Barr calling out the administration’s misuse of the certification process
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and urging the Department of Justice to reverse the recent decision, Matter of M-S-.
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Members of Congress are alarmed by the Department of Justice’s unprecedented
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misuse of executive power; not only rewriting asylum and detention law,
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but also stripping judges of the most basic operational authorities and judicial independence.
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With his Matter of M-S- decision, the Attorney General is unilaterally depriving asylum seekers
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of their right to a bond hearing in front of an immigration judge despite the fact they
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have passed a credible fear interview administered by an asylum officer.
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This is a devastating blow to those seeking protection from persecution at the U.S. border.
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The Matter of M-S- decision is not the only action taken by this administration
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that shows how political whims are running the court system.
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Just last week, the Department of Justice released a document that contained
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deceptive information and polarizing rhetoric about our immigration courts.
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We wanted to make sure you have the facts, so we issued a policy brief
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that provides real information on the state of our courts.
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In the brief, we demonstrate that studies have proven
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immigrants represented by attorneys fare better at every stage of the court process;
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that the Legal Orientation Program improves judicial efficiency and fundamental fairness;
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and that use of video teleconferencing undermines the quality of
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communications during immigration hearings and threatens due process.
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Armed with these facts, AILA is calling for Congress
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to establish an independent Article I immigration court
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that will administer our nation’s immigration laws free from political manipulation.

Cite as AILA Doc. No. 19051770.