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New directive could impact asylum seekers

As a previous post highlighted, some immigrants come to America as a means to gain a safe haven. Because the foreign national is afraid of persecution in their home country, their best option for survival is to flee their home country, come to the United States and seek asylum. While asylum seekers can successfully obtain green cards and even citizenship, the road to this can have some obstacles. With laws constantly changing, this could impact one's ability to obtain asylum.

According to recent news, a new directive for immigrant judges was issued by the Department of Justice. The underlying goal of this directive is to speed up the process. The Trump administration has announced that they are implementing production quotas. This means that judges will now have to complete 700 cases a year to earn a satisfactory grade.

The underlying goal of this in directive is to reduce the enormous backlog of cases. It is also believed that the new standards being made would aid in the efficient and timely nature of these cases and motions being completed. Nonetheless, there are major concerns with these new metrics. To begin, it puts pressure on immigration judges to resolve cases quickly. This could compromise the process and the rights available to immigrants.

In addition, tying a judge's performance review with the number of cases resolved is viewed as an improper attempt by the administration to generate direct influence over the adjudicative process. Finally, this directive does not address the backlog by looking at the cause. The reason for such a backlog is the number of immigration judges. There are currently 350 sitting judges and roughly 690,000 cases waiting to be heard.

These changes could impact and compromise those seeking asylum, as it mandates that judges make a ruling on the same day. This can make it challenging to establish a credible and reasonable fear in such a short timeframe. Thus, those seeking asylum should be aware of the process, the rules that govern it and how one can go about making the best claim possible.

Source: Thehill.com, "Immigrants, asylum seekers deserve their fair day in court," Raul A. Reyes, April 6, 2018

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