Immigration judges have been instructed to hold at least three hearings a day during which they determine if undocumented migrants deserve to stay in America. This intensely cramped schedule, advocates say, will threaten immigrants’ right to due process and speed up deportations, according to a Thursday BuzzFeed News report.
The Department of Justice had already mandated in October that immigration judges must finish 700 cases a year, imposing pressure and forcing judges to choose between giving some immigrants thorough hearings and meeting their quotas.
“If a judge is going to think: ‘let me do [the] right thing and have an eight-hour hearing, or I’ve got my kids’ tuition I have to pay, I’m going to do what they want me to do,’” immigration lawyer Jeffrey Chase told BuzzFeed. “It’s the next step in taking away immigration judges’ independence, making them choose between job security and due process.”