The Department of Justice (DOJ) has announced that a “case quota” policy, put into place during the previous presidential administration, has been rescinded. This policy forced judges to dispose of cases much more quickly than they might have wanted, potentially leading to unjust outcomes. With the case quotas policy rescinded, judges are now less pressured to give final judgments on cases that may deserve closer scrutiny, helping to protect immigrants from potential injustice.
What Was the Case Quotas Policy?
The policy of case quotas was put into place in 2018, along with a new set of criteria for evaluating the performance of immigration judges. This new policy required every immigration judge to complete a minimum of 700 cases every year to be given a “satisfactory” review for their position. This meant they could suffer professional consequences for failing to go through cases quickly enough, putting pressure on them to make quick decisions regardless of the merits of individual cases.
Why Were the Case Quotas Put In Place?
The justification put forward by the Trump Administration for the case quotas was to deal with the backlog of immigration cases. Right now, there are about 1.5 million immigration cases in the backlog of the immigration system, which are often stuck for months or years awaiting hearings from immigration judges. The case quotas forced judges to go through the backlog at a rapid pace, disposing of cases quickly to meet the arbitrary guidelines.
Why Have the Case Quotas Been Removed?
The case quotas system was criticized as soon as it was implemented, due to the high risk of unjust outcomes it created. With judges prioritizing ending cases quickly, many immigrants were potentially denied due process under the law. This led to immigrants losing their opportunity to have their cases fully heard, and in many cases led to deportation and other negative outcomes that would not have occurred if they had an opportunity to fully exercise their rights.
How Will This Affect Immigration Cases?
By removing case quotas, immigrants are more likely to receive fair hearings for their immigration cases. This gives them a better chance to have their arguments heard, and in turn giving them a better chance for a favorable outcome. For some immigrants, it may even be the difference between life and death, especially for asylum seekers and refugees fleeing danger in their countries of origin.
For more than forty years, the Drucker Law Firm has been providing personal and quality legal services to individuals, universities, and corporations throughout the New York City and Tri-State area. We have represented three generations of clients in immigration and nationality matters, as well as personal injury, family law, criminal law, and general litigation matters. If you have a legal issue related to immigration law, please give us a call at (718) 458-1489 to schedule a consultation or visit our contact page.