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Office (GAO) report documented EOIR case backlogs of epic size, costly and ineffective case management, and reliance on outdated technologies and reported that a majority of immigration court experts and stakeholders interviewed favored EOIR replacement with an independent Article I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

Congress Should Establish An Independent Immigration Court July 11, 2019

Summary of Model Legislation for an Article I Immigration Court

Briefing: FBA Model Bill to Establish an Article I U.S. Immigration Court

Backgrounder on FBA Legislative Proposal for a U.S. Immigration Court

Current Article I Courts

FBA Testimony to Senate Judiciary Subcommittee Hearing on "Strengthening and Reforming America's Immigration Court System", April 18, 2018

GAO Report: Immigration Courts: Actions Needed to Reduce Case Backlog and Address Long-Standing Management and Operational Challenges, June 2017

Centralized Article III Appellate Review of Immigration Court Decisions

Judicial Conference Policy Regarding Proposed Article I Immigration Court

"How Immigration Court Works", The Conversation, June 25, 2018

"I'm an Immigration Judge.  Here's How We Can Fix Our Courts," Dana Leigh Marks, Washington Post, April 12, 2019

Letter of the Federal Bar Association, American Bar Association, American Immigration Lawyers Association and the National Association of Immigration Judges to Congress urging creation of an independent immigration court


Connect With Us...