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Immigration Reform: Immigration Courts (Part Two)

Posted by Matthew Green | Jan 22, 2014 | 0 Comments

Today's post is the second installment in a two-part series about immigration courts and funding as proposed in the current immigration reform bill. This immigration reform legislation is known as S. 744 and was introduced to Congress in 2013. The bill was passed by the Senate, but not by the House. As many of you probably know, a bill needs approval from both chambers before it can become law.

While this is the second piece speaking about immigration courts and funding, I have provided other pieces on my blog about various sections of the proposed legislation. The bill, like most legislation, is quite expansive. However, I have chosen specific sections of the bill that I think are the most important.

Section 3504. Codifying Board of Immigration Appeals. The term “Board Member” has been amended and means: an attorney whom the Attorney General appoints as an administrative judge within the Executive Office for Immigration Review to serve on the Board of Immigration Appeals, qualified to review decisions of immigration judges and other matters within the jurisdiction of the Board of Immigration Appeals.

The most notable change in this section is arguably the revised policyrevised policy of decision and burden of proof. Once the proceeding has concluded, the immigration judge will decide whether an alien is removable from the U.S. This decision must be based only on the evidence that was offered during the hearing.

On appeal, the Board of Immigration Appeals will issue a written opinion. This written opinion must address all dispositive arguments raised by the parties. At this point, the panel may incorporate the opinion of the immigration judge whose decision is being reviewed.

Section 3505. Improved training for immigration judges and board members. The proposed immigration reform bill calls for training programs to be reviewed and modified by the Director of the Executive Office for Immigration Review. Modifications will be based on both expanded and continuing education. Funding is provided by the Comprehensive Immigration Reform Trust Fund.

Section 3506. Improved resources and technology for immigration courts and the Board of Immigration Appeals. To ensure efficiency and accuracy, the Director of the Executive Office for Immigration Review must ensure that immigration judges are provided with updated reference materials and standard decision templates. A manual containing best practices must also be available to the courts.

Other areas of improvement include a better audio recording system, enhanced transcription services, and improved interpreter selection. Potential interpreters will be subject to enhanced screening, hiring, certification, and evaluation. All three areas are required to receive any and all needed improvements no later than one year after the enactment of the immigration reform legislation. Funding for these improvements is obtained through the Comprehensive Immigration Reform Trust Fund.

The attorneys and staff at The Law Offices of Matthew H. Green understand that this proposed immigration reform as well as the current laws are detailed and often confusing. We work with the laws everyday and are able to help guide our clients through their legal matters. We have many years of combined experience and would be happy to put that experience to work for you.

About the Author

Matthew Green

Managing Partner. Green | Evans-Schroeder (formerly Law Offices of Matthew H. Green) focuses on the aggressive defense of immigrants. A native of Arizona, Mr. Green understands the difficulties that immigrants and families of immigrants face when a loved one is charged with a crime. He knows how frightening it can be for some...


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