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November 29, 2016

Immigration hard-liner Sessions could execute crackdown as AG
By Seung Min Kim

One of Sessions’ major powers as attorney general would be his oversight of the immigration courts, formally known as the Executive Office of Immigration Review. That’s the venue where immigrants make their case before a judge on why they should not be deported. The system is notoriously backlogged, with nearly 522,000 cases currently pending, according to the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse at Syracuse University, which monitors cases. Sessions could try to speed up the process by installing more judges, particularly ones who align with his tough-on-immigration views. Immigration judges are usually career DOJ attorneys who are hired under guidelines that Sessions could influence should he become attorney general. Sessions could also exert control through the Board of Immigration Appeals. An immigrant who disagrees with a judge’s decision can appeal to this board, whose 17 members are appointed by the attorney general and write decisions that can set a broad precedent.

Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse, Syracuse University
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