Article I Immigration Court

Congress Should Establish an Article I Immigration Court

Since 2013 the Federal Bar Association has urged Congress to establish an Article I “United States Immigration Court” to replace the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) in the U.S. Department of Justice as the principal adjudicatory forum under title II of the Immigration and Nationality Act. The federal courts in the United States include the courts established in and under Article III of the Constitution, as well as the adjudicative entities established by Congress under its Article I legislative powers. The FBA has drafted model legislation to create an Article I immigration court and welcomes the opportunity to discuss the proposal with Congress and stakeholders.

There is broad consensus that our system for adjudicating immigration claims is broken and deserves systemic overhaul. Hiring more immigration judges, while urgent, will not address the longstanding management and operational inefficiencies within EOIR.

The June 2017 Government Accountability Office (GAO) report documented EOIR case backlogs of epic size, costly and ineffective case management, and reliance on outdated technologies and reported that a majority of immigration court experts and stakeholders interviewed favored EOIR replacement with an independent Article I immigration court. Establishing an Article I court would substitute for an overstaffed, bloated bureaucracy a new structure, modeled on the federal courts, their case management expertise, and their demonstrated record for delivering prompt, effective justice. Cheaper, faster, better justice is possible through an Article I immigration court.

Background Materials

FBA Model legislation Establishing an Article I Immigration Court

Summary of Model Legislation for an Article I Immigration Court

Why Should Congress Establish an Article I Immigration Court?

Letter from FBA President Kip T. Bollin and Immigration Section Chair Elizabeth Stevens to the Senate Judiciary Committee on Border Security and immigration, April 16, 2018


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