DOJ Removes Case Quota for Immigration Judges

DOJ eliminates Trump's case quota for immigration judges

DOJ eliminates Trump’s case quota for immigration judges

According to a memo first obtained by CNN, which was sent to immigration judges across the US on Tuesday, October 19, 2021, the DOJ (Department of Justice) is eliminating Trump’s proposed case quota.

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What was Trump’s case quota?

In 2018, the Trump administration established a case quota for immigration judges, stating that the backlog of immigration applications was lengthening waiting times and allowing ineligible individuals to remain in the US when they should be deported.

Broadly speaking, Trump’s rule directed immigration judges to:

  • Process at least 700 immigration cases per year.
  • Overturn on appeal less than 15% of their cases.

Trump’s DOJ explained that it was imperative to expedite immigration case processing to improve and optimize the local immigration system and reduce waiting times, but it was heavily focused on deportation proceedings.

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The repercussions of Trump’s case quota and Biden’s decision

Immigration judges across the US (DOJ employees) complained about Trump’s case quota, stating that his administration was focusing on increasing deportation levels, leaving aside quality and fair due process.

Thus, Biden’s DOJ explains that imposing a case quota would increase the workload for immigration judges and could risk the future of immigrants who deserve to reside in the US by expediting deportation proceedings.

In fact, Biden’s DOJ stated in the memo, “The Agency is in the process of developing new performance measures, drawing from past successful measures and appropriate input, that will accurately reflect the workload of an immigration judge”.

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Immigration judges celebrate DOJ’s decision

Naturally, DOJ’s decision to remove the case quota is quite positive news for immigration judges across the country.

To give a specific example, the president of NAIJ (National Association of Immigration Judges) stated, “Suspension of the metrics is an excellent first step (…) We now await the opportunity for management to work with us to establish appropriate measures”.

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