The Justice Department issued a directive to U.S. immigration judges to clear at least 700 cases per year to get a “satisfactory” rating, according to reports.
The Trump administration said it wants to speed up immigration cases, many of which end up backlogged for years. But the judges’ union said issuing a quota to obtain a satisfactory rating is an “unprecedented” attack of judicial independence.
In addition to clearing a minimum of 700 cases per year, the memo says judges will be expected to have a remand rate in Board of Immigration Appeals and Circuit Courts of less than 15 percent and meeting a series of benchmarks based on speed, including completing cases on their initial hearing date.
Justice Department spokesman Devin O’Malley told the Washington Post that immigration judges clear an average of 678 cases per year, so issuing a minimum of 700 isn’t “that big of a lift.”