The PJ Tatler

Our Immigration Courts - Built to Fail

Tomorrow, the Center for Immigration Studies will host a panel discussion at the National Press Club over a new report being released by CIS about our dysfunctional immigration court system. The report, “Built to Fail: Deception and Disorder in America’s Immigration Courts,” is authored by Mark H. Metcalf. Andy McCarthy, the former federal prosecutor of the Blind Sheik, and I will both be on the panel.

Mark Metcalf is a former Justice Department lawyer I worked with when I was at the Department. He knows of what he speaks in the immigration area – he is a former immigration judge and also served as Special Counsel at the Domestic Security Section at Justice. If you think our border security is disorganized, chaotic, and inadequate, wait until you hear about the scandalous flaws in our immigration court system.

I don’t want to give away Mark’s shocking findings, but they include the fact that the Justice Department has manipulated its immigration reports for years to make things look better than they really are. For example, he found that while Justice said that only 39 percent of aliens missed their court appearances in 2005 and 2006, the actual number was 59%. This means that the vast majority of aliens here illegally who were detained but then released pending trial disappeared into the heartland and never showed up in court. Another appalling statistic Mark found is that the number of outstanding deportation orders that remain unenforced by the Department of Homeland Security is over a million! In essence, the enforcement of deportation orders issued against aliens by immigration judges is non-existent.

More startling findings tomorrow starting at 9:00 a.m. at the National Press Club in Washington.