The Justice Department will begin using a quota system for federal immigration judges' performance reviews that’ll expect a jurist to clear 700 cases to get a “satisfactory” rating, The Wall Street Journal reported.
The new quotas were laid out in a memo sent last Friday to immigration judges, and are aimed to reduce the backlog at immigration courts, the Journal reported.
That pileup is approaching 700,000 cases, up from fewer than 225,000 in 2009, the Journal reported, citing data from the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse at Syracuse University.
The Journal reported the new standards will take effect Oct. 1.
Under the new quotas, judges will be required to complete 700 cases a year and to see fewer than 15 percent of their decisions sent back by a higher court, the Journal reported.
Over the past five years, the average judge completed 678 cases in a year, said Justice Department spokesman Devin O’Malley.
The metrics are getting pushback from the union representing immigration judges and as well as lawyers, who warn quotas are a threat to judicial independence and will unduly influence decisions, the Journal reported.
“This is a recipe for disaster,” A. Ashley Tabaddor, an immigration judge in Los Angeles who is president of the National Association of Immigration Judges told the Journal.
“You are going to, at minimum, impact the perception of the integrity of the court.”
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