LOS ANGELES – Immigration judges say a new quota system threatens to increase an already overwhelming backlog of cases in U.S. immigration courts.
The system pushes for judges to close 700 cases a year and calls for them to be evaluated on that quota.
Immigration Judge Ashley Tabaddor said in a March 12 letter to lawmakers that the change would create a perception of government interference in the handling of cases that will lead more immigrants to file appeals.
Tabaddor, who heads the National Association of Immigration Judges, says the move could also flood federal courts with cases.
It can take years to get a decision in the immigration courts, which have more than 800,000 pending cases.
The letter followed testimony last week before a House subcommittee by James McHenry, who oversees the nation's immigration courts.
A message sent to immigration court officials was not immediately returned.