The Department of Justice has recently announced a series of policy changes aimed at expediting the removal of immigrants, with few if any attendant due process protections. These policies include the announcement of new case processing priorities; detailing of immigration judges to remote detained dockets; and expansion of the Institutional Hearing Program, in which immigrants serving criminal sentences undergo immigration proceedings while still in criminal custody and are subject to deportation immediately after completing their sentences. All players in the immigration system – immigration attorneys, government prosecutors, immigration judges, and immigrants themselves – have begun to observe concerning consequences flowing from these policies.
NIJC has issued a Guide for Members of Congress Seeking to Hold the Administration Accountable to Due Process for all immigrants facing removal. This document provides background regarding the little we know as to the changes announced by the Department of Justice, and suggests questions members of Congress may ask to hold the agency accountable to its obligation to ensure due process protections in immigration proceedings.
On April 6, 2017, NIJC and five major national immigration advocacy organizations submitted a letter to Juan Osuna, the Director of the Executive Office for Immigration Review, requesting information and expressing concerns regarding the proposed expansion of the Institutional Hearing Program.
On April 12, 2017, NIJC submitted a Freedom of Information Act request to the Executive Office for Immigration Review seeking further information and policies regarding these important changes.