American Immigration Lawyers Association, Greg Chen, Greg discussed on The Takeaway
All this is Greg Chen. He's the director of government relations for the American immigration lawyers association. Gregg, welcome to the takeaway. Thank you for having me. So let's take a broad look across the country when it comes to the immigration courts and the government shutdown. What are we seeing what is most dramatic as the example of the story? Mr. OTS feelies shows is that the president strut down is jeopardizing the lives of asylum seekers and other immigrants who have been waiting often for years for their cases to be resolved. And what that means is that asylum seekers who are worried about their lives at that. They could still be sent back to dangerous conditions in their home countries. Others still waiting in limbo and evidence in their case could go stale witnesses who are going to provide declarations and information showing the persecution and the violence that these people have suffered could be lost. And so the. This shutdown is really making their courts, not operational at this point and lives are going to be affected. People are really going to be hurt by this. What about attorneys how are they handling the situation? I mean, do they understand how shutdown is affecting their clients? Well, we are still trying to figure that out and with fifteen thousand immigration lawyer members across the country who we are hearing from our members is that they are having their cases be delayed and taken off the docket, and as judged habit or described, you know, the vast majority of cases in this backlog of more than he heard thousand cases now possibly more than a million. If all the additional cases are added as the administration has planned to do those. That's majority of cases, those are the ones that are sitting on the dockets in the non detain calendar. These are people that are not in detention of any kind those cases are being pushed off, and they will have to wait typically more than a year in New York. We're talking about probably not having your. Case go back on until two thousand twenty two or twenty twenty three. That's a few years out and attorneys are still trying to figure out what to do to make sure these severe delays don't hurt their clients as we mentioned in the introduction. There is a severe backlog of these cases even before the shutdown happened. We interview judge Ashley tab for who was with the national association of immigration judges. And she told us the following. He needs to remove the immigration court from the Justice department, the backlog that we're seeing now and the dysfunctionality that we're seeing now all stem from the fact that we have an immigration court run by a prosecutor. So it is absolutely indefensible to have a court that has that ability of a prosecutor to interfere an interesting and use the court for non perspectives and policy. You can't have the executive branch be responsible for the enforcement of the law. As well. As education of claims that are brought as a result of the enforcement of those laws. Greg your thoughts on that is judged tab Adora correct is the lack of independence for immigration courts, partly to blame for the backlog Ayla. The American workers lords cessation does agree with position that the immigration courts can no longer be part of the department of Justice controlled by the attorney general, and it's true that the backlog of cases was already very large before this administration took office, but policies that the Trump administration has implemented particularly under attorney general Jeff Sessions and his successors seem to be taking the same approach. Those policies have made worse they are literally preventing the course from being able to operate efficiently, and the are literally hamstringing judges from being able to manage the dockets. So that they can take the cases that are requiring more urgent review. So they can make. Those decisions appropriately in a timely manner. They're holding those up, and what's happening is that we are seeing that due process for asylum seekers, a constitutional rights are being affected here. Greg do they have any to those do those folks have any recourse, given this shutdown? I mean, or is it really just a question of wait and see we've got about thirty seconds left. Well, the policies of the administration are being challenged in the courts now, especially decisions that will directly limit the right of asylum seekers to be able to get fair review of their cases. Those are going to be challenged by lawyers in the courts, we will make sure to stop this. The constitution protects the rights of asylum seekers who are seeking protection in the courts. And if the courts can't operate properly to guarantee that that is just not the American way, Greg China's the director of government relations for the American immigration lawyers association..