Some judges are balking at immigration policy changes ordered by the Trump administration.
The new policies include having immigration judges speed up their cases to meet quotas or face being fired The New York Times reported Sept. 7.
The objections involve a series of changes that the judges’ bosses in the Justice Department say are aimed at chipping away at a backlog of 732,730 cases, the newspaper reported.
There has been emphasis on efficiency and speeding up the process, said New York Immigration Judge Amiena Kahn, executive vice president of the National Association of Immigration Judges.
“Judges were being pushed to move faster at the expense of denying immigrants their rights in court,” according to the article.
New York judges feel as if they are acting like law enforcement agents because they have to meet quotas. Instead of taking their time to decide these cases according to the law, they feel obligated to operate their courtrooms like they are in a traffic court instead of an immigration courtroom, the story said.
Union President Judge Ashley Tabaddor called the policy changes an attempt at “huge psychological warfare.”
The new policy on immigration makes it mandatory for judges to meet these quotas. They are being monitored on their computers in order to see if they are keeping pace.
When Philadelphia Judge Steven A. Morley postponed a case because he believed the immigrant did not receive the proper notification, the Justice Department reassigned all of his similar 87 cases.
The Justice Department added seven New York judges to help speed up the immigration cases. There are now a total of 33 New York immigration judges, the newspaper reported.
The Justice Department called the changes “a series of common-sense reforms” that would realign “the agency towards completing cases, increasing both productivity and capacity and changing policies that lead to inefficiencies and waste.”