Putting TRAC to Work
Justice Department
August 9, 2006

Attorney General Gonzales Announces Changes to Improve the Performance of the Immigration Court

In January 2006, possibly goaded by a series of highly critical decisions from the courts of appeals in several parts of the United States, Attorney General Gonzales issued an unusally critical statement calling for a review of the immigration court. On July 31, TRAC posted on its immigration web site a special report documenting great disparity in the way immigration judges have decided asylum cases in the last decade. One week later, on August 7, TRAC put up a supplementary report allowing all Americans to examine the asylum record of individual immigration judges. Then, on August 9, the attorney general issued a statement announcing a series of efforts to change and improve the performance of the courts. Although the attorney general's report had obviously been in the works for several months, it cited "a recent report" highlighting "apparent disparities among immigration judges in asylum grant rates." It added the study would be reviewed to determine if further changes are warranted. A recent study has highlighted apparent disparities among immigration judges in asylum grant rates. The Director of EOIR, in consultation with the Acting Chief Immigration Judge, will review this study and provide an analysis and, if appropriate, recommendations to the Deputy Attorney General with respect to this issue.

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