WASHINGTON D.C. – This week, the House Judiciary Committee is marking up The Real Courts, Real Law Act of 2022 (H.R. 6577). Introduced by Representatives Lofgren, Nadler and Johnson, the legislation would create an independent, Article I immigration court. Kids in Need of Defense (KIND) welcomes this effort in Congress as a first step toward the creation of a fairer court free from political interference.
Such a court would remedy the problematic authority of the Attorney General to alter immigration law precedent, reduce political changes to policy that curtail due process for unaccompanied children and others in immigration proceedings, and increase the independence of immigration judges.
Due to the complexities of immigration courts and the difficulties children have navigating the U.S. immigration system, KIND supports expanding upon H.R. 6577 to call for the creation of an independent children’s immigration court. A new and separate court system, centered on child-friendly court practices, would serve children’s best interests, including the prioritization of child safety, permanency, and well-being.
In the statement submitted for the record, KIND notes:
“Through our work, KIND attorneys witness how political interference in the immigration courts has real-world consequences for children in immigration proceedings. The current status of the immigration courts, run by the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) under the Department of Justice (DOJ), gives authority to the Attorney General to drastically alter precedent and policy and to limit judicial discretion. KIND supports the establishment of an independent, Article I immigration court in order to improve due process, reduce political influence, and increase judicial independence. This new court should include a separate children’s division with specially trained judges and government attorneys to address the unique needs of children in immigration court.”
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