In a week jam-packed with immigration news and events, here are some of the highlights:
White House requires Immigration Judges to complete 700 cases per year
This week, the Department of Justice (DOJ) issued a mandate instructing immigration judges to resolve 700 cases per year or else risk receiving poor performance ratings at the end of their term. Additionally, as part of maintaining a satisfactory rating, DOJ is requiring that fewer than 15% of a judge’s cases be overturned on appeal. DOJ explained in a memo that the new policy is “designed to increase productivity and efficiency in the system without compromising due process.” A spokesman for the DOJ, Devin O’Malley, has stated that this mandate is largely consistent with the current workload: “What this means is that judges will have to complete about three cases per day. . . . We feel that is in line with what judges are already completing.”
However, this has drawn sharp criticism from immigration judges and defense lawyers. Judge A. Ashley Tabaddor, President of the National Association of Immigration Judges, said that this mandate “is going to invite unnecessary scrutiny and undermine the very integrity of the court,” and that lawyers and immigrants “who appear before the court will be wondering: ‘Is the judge issuing the decision because she’s trying to meet a deadline or a quota? Or is she really applying her impartial adjudicated powers?’” Additionally, Jeremy McKinney, Secretary of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), pointed out that “[d]ecisions in immigration court have life-or-death consequences and cannot be managed like an assembly line.”
The NMM Immigration Blog will continue to provide updates as this issue develops, and as additional reports emerge regarding the effects of this mandate on the immigration court system.
Longest-tenured CEO on Wall Street urges Immigration Reform
In a letter to shareholders this week, JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon pushed for immigration reform, emphasizing the stress that the immigration divide is having on the American economy.
Dimon wrote that “[w]e need to resolve immigration – it is tearing apart our body politic and damaging our economy.” He further stated that the “international system provides agreed-upon rules of the road – and mechanisms for enforcing them. It serves as the basis upon which we can insist on fairer trade practices from competitors and adequate burden-sharing from allies. It is the means by which we can continue to improve people’s lives and livelihoods. The system, built at great sacrifice, continues to serve our interests. It should be preserved and defended – ideally under strong U.S. leadership.”
Dimon then set out a set of immigration reforms he felt would improve the American economy, and the nation as a whole: (1) adequate border security; (2) a pathway to citizenship for DACA recipients (or “Dreamers”); (3) green cards for those who complete advanced degrees in the United States, stressing the need to retain talented people in the country; (4) a pathway to citizenship for undocumented individuals who are “law-abiding,” “hardworking,” and have paid their taxes in full; and (5) a policy under which immigrants should be taught “American history, our language and our principles,” arguing that “it is unlikely the American public will feel comfortable with immigration if we don’t revert to some core principles.”
Lawsuit to proceed against Proctor & Gamble for immigration discrimination
On Monday, a federal court in Florida denied a motion by Proctor & Gamble (P&G) to dismiss a lawsuit filed by a DACA recipient for employment discrimination based upon his immigration status.
David Rodriguez filed the suit against Proctor & Gamble in July 2017 . After graduating from Florida International University with a major in finance and a 3.96 GPA, Rodriguez – a DACA recipient born in Venezuela – applied for an internship with P&G. He alleges in his lawsuit that he was denied the internship because of his immigration status, saying that he received confirmation from P&G that his DACA status was the reason for the denial. He also argues that P&G lists in its job postings that a prospective employee “must be a U.S. Citizen or national, refugee, asylee or lawful permanent resident,” thus eliminating from consideration millions of immigrants in America lawfully permitted to work, including those with DACA. Immediately after the lawsuit was filed, P&G issued a statement saying that its application policies had been amended, and that DACA applicants were being considered for positions at the company. Nevertheless, the lawsuit is set to proceed as a class action suit against the company in federal court.
Any immigrants who believe they have faced employment discrimination because of their status should contact an experienced attorney to make sure their rights are protected.