Reforming the Immigration System: Proposals to Improve the Adjudication of Removal Cases
Back in 2010, the American Bar Association Commission on Immigration put together a voluminous report to tackle the reforms needed to improve the Immigration System and make it fairer and more efficient. At the time, they recommended a number of changes in policy, regulation, and law that would enhance due process mechanisms and fairness in the treatment of immigrants, asylum seekers, and refugees within the United States. Thus, many legislative and administrative reform efforts resulted from these recommendations. The report even pointed out the need for more resources and professionalism between the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Justice officials. Though noble in intent at the time, these recommendations did not propel the process of change forward expected and did not even give birth to a single immigration law to date. That is why the Commission on Immigration took another shot at the large task of reforming our Immigration System which is on the brink of collapsing. A 2019 Update Report was drafted, putting a number of subjects back on the table – divided into six parts – in the hopes that some of them make it through while ensuring a fairer and more equitable system.
At first sight, it is obvious that the immigration system has worsened under the new administration. Though this updated version is equally as expansive as the previous one from 2010, several refinements are noted. For instance, the focus first was put on the role of the Department of Homeland Security in removals. The ABA 2019 Report encourages major changes to be made to the Immigration and Nationality Act to ensure that any arrest, detention, or prosecutions of aliens are done with due process, fairness, and equity. It was also suggested that Immigration courts be independent from the entire Department Of Justice mechanism in order to solve the backlogs issue. The report concludes that by doing so the quality of individual adjudications would improve. Finally, the reforms made over the last eight years at the Board of Immigration Appeals were scrutinized and the need for legal reforms was highlighted