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Think Progress
August 3, 2017

Top immigration judge issues memo calling for quick deportation
By Esther Yu Hsi Lee

Chief immigration judge MaryBeth Keller issued a memo Tuesday calling on all immigration judges and court staff to prioritize the quick deportation of immigrants with pending court cases, according to a recent U.S. Department of Justice memo. In the memo, Keller provided guidance for immigration judges to efficiently adjudicate cases as quickly as possible to lessen the growing backlog of court cases. The memo’s guidance also calls into attention the more than 610,000 pending cases on the immigration court docket, gathered from the data records and reports website Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse maintained by Syracuse University, with roughly half of all cases centered in California, Texas, and New York. Between December 2013 and 2016, then-President Barack Obama tasked immigration judges to prioritize the deportation of tens of thousands of Central American children who had fled violence in their home countries through a “rocket docket,” which required attorneys and judges to speed through court proceedings to process immigrants.

Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse, Syracuse University
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