The Department of Justice is reportedly changing the Executive Office of Immigration Review in order to address the large backlog of cases in the immigration court system, the Washington Times reports.
The EOIR, the agency that hears deportation cases made by undocumented immigrants who were apprehended inside the U.S. as well as asylum requests, will be restructured in 60 days in response to the backlog, which as reached almost one million pending cases in immigration courts as of fiscal 2019.
The office would gain the power to decide certain cases that have spent years in the system, and requests to review defendants’ representation will be taken up by the EOIR Director. The office’s general counsel’s influence would be limited under the interim rule, according to an unnamed department official who previewed the changes to reporters.
“EOIR’s General Counsel does not have authority to influence the adjudication of cases,” reads the new policy, according to investigative reporter Sara A. Carter’s website, which reports that acting Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan said that the changes will provide “fair and expeditious immigration proceedings, and eliminates a key incentive that encourages traffickers to exploit children.”
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