Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Deception and Disorder in Immigration Court

Following up on an earlier summary report, the Center for Immigration Studies has released a 100-page monograph of “Built to Fail: Deception and Disorder in America's Immigration Courts,” authored by Mark H. Metcalf.

A former immigration judge, Metcalf reports that there are inherent flaws in the immigration courts that lead to widespread disregard of its rulings by the aliens who appear before them. The monograph discusses in detail the shortcomings of Justice Department statistical reporting on the courts' work and the flaws in their funding arrangements. The report is online here

Among the findings:

Very few aliens who file lawsuits to remain in the United States are deported, even though immigration courts – after years of litigation – order them removed.

Deportation orders are rarely enforced, even against aliens who skip court or ignore orders to leave the United States.

Aliens evade immigration courts more often than accused felons evade state courts. Unlike accused felons, aliens who skip court are rarely caught.

From 1996 through 2009, the United States allowed 1.9 million aliens to remain free before trial and 770,000 of them – 40 percent of the total – vanished. Nearly one million deportation orders were issued to this group – 78 percent of these orders were handed down for court evasion.

From 2002 through 2006 – in the shadow of 9/11 – 50 percent of all aliens free pending trial disappeared. Court numbers show 360,199 aliens out of 713,974 dodged court.

For years, the Department of Justice (DoJ) has grossly understated the number of aliens who evade court. In 2005 and 2006, DoJ said 39 percent of aliens missed court. Actually, 59 percent of aliens – aliens remaining free before trial – never showed.

Since 1996, failures of aliens to appear in court have never dipped below 30 percent.

Enforcement of deportation orders is now nearly non-existent. Removal orders are not enforced unless aliens have committed serious crimes.

Unexecuted removal orders are growing. As of 2002, 602,000 deportation orders had not been enforced. Since then, another 507,551 have been added to the rolls. Today, unexecuted removal orders number approximately 1,109,551 – an 84 percent increase since 2002.

U.S. immigration courts rule in favor of aliens 60 percent of the time. DoJ statistics suggest aliens win only 20 percent of the time.

The Department of Justice tells Congress that aliens appeal deportation orders only 8 percent of the time. In fact, over the last 10 years aliens appealed deportation orders 98 percent of the time.

Since 1990, immigration court budgets have increased 823 percent with taxpayers footing the entire bill. Aliens pay no more to file their cases today than they did in 1990.

From 2000 through 2007, tax dollars paid aliens’ court costs. Taxpayers underwrote the appeals of aliens ordered removed for criminal convictions and fraudulent marriages.

U.S. immigration judges carry huge caseloads. In 2006 – the courts’ busiest year ever – 233 judges completed 407,487 matters. All work of DoJ’s trial and appellate lawyers combined equaled only 289,316. By comparison, federal district and circuit courts, with 1,271 judges, completed 414,375 matters.

The only possible way the Justice Department’s misrepresentations will be corrected is for the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to audit America’s immigration courts.

An Article I court – a court created through Congress’s constitutional authority over immigration – is the surest solution for those fleeing persecution, while balancing America’s fundamental interest in secure borders and an effective immigration system.

The above is a press release from from Center for Immigration Studies. 1522 K St. NW, Suite 820, Washington, DC 20005, (202) 466-8185 fax: (202) 466-8076. Email: center@cis.org. Contact: Bryan Griffith, (202) 466-8185, press@cis.org. The Center for Immigration Studies is an independent research institution which examines the impact of immigration on the United States. The Center for Immigration Studies is not affiliated with any other organization

Curb on immigrants' rights to settle in Britain as rule that allows them to stay after working for five years set for axe

Tens of thousands of immigrants will be stripped of the right to settle in the UK permanently under Home Office proposals. Ministers are to crack down on a regime which allowed a record 241,000 foreigners to settle here last year – up from 51,000 when Labour came to power.

They plan to abolish a rule that gives those from abroad the right to live in Britain permanently if they work here for five years. The Government will also look at restricting the right of immigrants’ spouses to a British passport if they stay here long enough.

Ministers say it is vital if they are to hit David Cameron’s target of reducing net migration – the number of people entering the country, versus those leaving – to the ‘tens of thousands’.

Breaking the link between permanent settlement and the right to work in the UK temporarily has long been demanded by groups campaigning for a policy of ‘balanced migration’.

Under the plans, to be published before the end of this year, foreigners will still be able to gain a visa to work in Britain, but they will no longer be able to remain here permanently simply by virtue of staying in the country legally for five years.

A Whitehall source said: ‘We want to break the link between working and settling in Britain. It has become almost automatic for people who keep their noses clean and don’t get a criminal record.

‘The Government is not against people coming here to work, but that shouldn’t automatically mean they get to stay in Britain forever.’

Under the policy, a new ‘hurdle’ will be introduced for immigrants who wish to remain here permanently, based on their ability to support themselves and their families, their qualifications and whether they are working in professions where there are shortages of trained Britons.

Those on high incomes, businessmen and millionaire investors would be exempt because the Government believes they create jobs. EU nationals who have a right to live in the UK would not be affected.

The Home Office knows it needs to do more to cut immigration levels if the Prime Minister is to have any hope of meeting his election promises.

Crackdowns have already been announced on student visas and on the number of work permits given to non-EU nationals. But without reducing the number of people who can remain here permanently, the ‘tens of thousands’ target is highly unlikely to be hit. Last year net migration rose by 21 per cent – with 239,000 more people arriving in the UK than leaving.


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