WASHINGTON (CNS) — U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions issued a decision Sept. 18 curtailing the powers of U.S. immigration judges in deportation proceedings, a move that may make it easier for the Trump administration to deport migrants.
The news agency Reuters reported Sept. 19 that Sessions set limits on the ability of judges to terminate deportation cases and said the judges “have no inherent authority to terminate removal proceedings even though a particular case may pose sympathetic circumstances.”
If a judge terminates or dismisses a case, in some circumstances, the move may buy some time for the person under deportation proceedings to pursue a different way to remain in the country.
Some worry that the new directive paves the way for speedier and more abundant deportations, perhaps signaling upcoming aggressive moves by the Trump administration on the immigration front.
In mid-September, in discussing with Hill.TV how a monument in Pennsylvania marking where one of the planes involved in the 9/11 attacks went down inspired him, President Donald Trump spoke of the “gorgeous wall where the plane went down in Pennsylvania, Shanksville,” hinting also at the border wall he wants to build between the U.S. and Mexico. The 9/11 memorial has a series of walls.
“I’ll be doing things over the next two weeks having to do with immigration, which I think you’ll be very impressed at,” he told Hill.TV Sept. 18, the same day Sessions announced the directive.
The American Immigration Lawyers Association, on its website Sept. 20, said the administration “has implemented policies that will undermine the independence of immigration judges and weaken due process in the immigration court system.”
“Immigration courts play a key role in affording noncitizens an opportunity to present claims for relief and stay in the United States,” the statement continued. “The changes adopted by (Department of Justice) since last year — including steps to impose numerical quotas on immigration judges and attempts to curtail procedural safeguards — threaten the integrity of the immigration courts.”
The executive director of the lawyers association, Benjamin Johnson, said in a statement that the move was “part of a systematic effort to marginalize the role of immigration judges in their own courtrooms.”
Jeremy McKinney, the organization’s treasurer, said the decision shows that the attorney general “wants every case to move as fast as possible toward deportation regardless of the specific circumstances. Our nation needs immigration judges to be fair and neutral when making life and death decisions.”
Join the CatholicPhilly.com family
CatholicPhilly.com works to strengthen the connections between people, families and communities every day by delivering the news people need to know about the Catholic Church, especially in the Philadelphia region, and the world in which we live.
By your donation in any amount, you and hundreds of other people become part of our mission to inform, form in the Catholic faith and inspire the thousands of readers who visit every month.
Here is how you can help:
- A $100 gift allows us to present award-winning photos of Catholic life in our neighborhoods.
- A $50 gift enables us to cover a news event in a local parish, school or Catholic institution.
- A $20 gift lets us obtain solid faith formation resources that can deepen your spirituality and knowledge of the faith.
- A small, automated monthly donation means you can support us continually and easily.
Won't you consider making a gift today?
Please join in the church's vital mission of communications by offering a gift in whatever amount that you can ― a single gift of $40, $50, $100, or more, or a monthly donation. Your gift will strengthen the fabric of our entire Catholic community and sustain CatholicPhilly.com as your trusted news source. Thank you in advance!
Make your donation by credit card here:
Or make your donation by check:
222 N. 17th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103