On Sept. 27, the National Press Club will host a panel to discuss sweeping and controversial changes in the nation’s immigration courts. Panelists will be the Hon. Ashley Tabaddor, president of the National Association of Immigration Judges; Judy Perry Martinez, president of the American Bar Association; and Jeremy McKinney, second vice president of the American Immigration Lawyers Association.
In recent weeks, the Trump administration has set up temporary courts on the U.S. southern border and imposed more restrictive policies for asylum seekers. Immigration lawyers and observers, including journalists, have been barred from observing some of these new court proceedings. Meanwhile, a backlog of more than a million immigration cases nationwide continues to grow as judges are ordered to put court dates on hold to hear cases on the border. Changes also have been made to the appellate process to give the director of the Executive Office of Immigration Review, part of the Department of Justice, the power to reverse a judge’s decision.
Also, this year, for the first time, judges are required to hear a minimum of 700 cases per year or face discipline, including possible removal. The Trump administration also took steps over the summer to decertify NAIJ, the judge’s union. NAIJ, ABA and AILA have called on Congress to establish an independent federal immigration court system that would be shielded from political pressures.
Tabaddor serves as a federal immigration judge in Los Angeles, in addition to her position at NAIJ. ABA President Judy Perry Martinez recently returned from a week of pro bono immigration work on the border, including a tour of the new border court in Brownsville. Jeremy McKinney is a North Carolina-based immigration lawyer.
The Headliners Newsmaker program is scheduled for 10 a.m., Sept. 27, in the National Press Club’s Holeman Lounge. The club is on the 13th floor of the National Press Building at 529 14th St., NW, Washington, D.C. This event is open to credentialed media and club members free of charge, with advance registration required. Please click here to register.
SOURCE National Press Club