Last Friday, the administration proposed sweeping regulations to change procedures in immigration court— making it even more difficult for immigrant survivors of violence to seek protection in the United States. Among the devastating changes would be the elimination of administrative closure, which would put thousands of immigrant survivors with pending petitions for life-saving relief, like the U visa, at risk of deportation. The regulations also dramatically cut timelines of immigration cases, including a cap of 14 days to file a brief and 90-day and 180-day limits for judges to decide new cases—a process that can typically take more than a year to complete.
“The Tahirih Justice Center strongly condemns the proposed regulations,” said Richard Caldarone, Tahirih Litigation Counsel. “If they are implemented, it would complete the transformation of immigration courts into a deportation machine that rapidly expels immigrants without the slightest regard for due process rights. The regulations would concentrate unfettered discretion in the hands of one individual— the Director of the Executive Office for Immigration Review. Immigration courts would then no longer have any semblance of a neutral body tasked with fair judicial review of cases but would simply be a tool of the administration.”