One of President Trump’s 70-point immigration principles sent to Congress on October 8 is the recommendation to hire an additional 370 immigration judges, and 1,000 new Immigration and Customs Enforcement lawyers.
As recent evidence proves, more immigration judges mean more removals. Currently, the immigration court backlog is an overwhelming 630,000 cases. Last week, the Department of Justice’s Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) released statistics on the effects of Executive Order (EO) 13767, Border Security and Immigration Enforcement Improvements.. The EO called for Attorney General Jeff Sessions to assign immigration judges to immigration detention facilities.
Acting on Sessions’ EO, federal officials sent over one hundred immigration judges to Department of Homeland Security detention facilities nationwide including along the southern border to carry out in-person interviews and video teleconferencing docket hearings.
The results, according to EOIR, show that: “mobilized immigration judges have completed approximately 2,700 more cases than expected if the immigration judges had not been detailed.” And “immigration judges mobilized to surge sites completed approximately 21 percent more cases on detail than the historical, expected performance of non-detailed immigration judges at the same base locations.”
Acting Immigration and Customs Enforcement director Thomas Homan must be pleased with the results that adding more judges will yield. In July, Homan told the Daily Caller that since the unaccompanied Central American minors and family unit surge began several years ago and often unfounded credible fear claims spiked, immigration removal proceedings take longer. An immigration judge must hear credible fear cases, and assuming the claimant honors his notice to appear in court, they often take years to resolve.
The consensus among enforcement advocates is that President Trump’s enforcement agenda would remove virtually all the illegal immigration incentives.