TRAC Co-Director Testifies On DOJ Failures to Implement Immigration Court Reforms

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Dr. Susan B. Long, TRAC co-director and Associate Professor of Managerial Statistics at Syracuse University's Martin J. Whitman School of Management, testified before a Congressional Subcommittee on immigration matters on Tuesday, September 23, 2008.

Dr. Long had been invited to testify before a hearing of the House Judiciary's Committee Subcommittee on Immigration, Citizenship, Refugees, Border Security and International Law. The purpose of the hearing was to examine the politicized hiring of Immigration Judges and Board of Immigration Appeals members by Justice Department personnel, and the continued shortage of staffing and resources to EOIR despite rising immigration enforcement.

In her submitted testimony, Dr. Long highlighted four issues:

  1. There continues to be an inadequate number of immigration judges to meet workload demands.
  2. EOIR has failed to implement the key improvement measures that were directed by Attorney General Gonzales to enhance the oversight and training of judges.
  3. EOIR appears to be experiencing budget shortfalls, yet funded positions are unfilled.
  4. The Justice Department and EOIR have taken active steps to keep information about the implementation of reforms opaque.

A recent special report from TRAC determined that key parts of a 22-point Bush Administration plan to make the Immigration Courts work in a fairer and more effective way have not been implemented.

You may read the complete testimony here (PDF format).