We’ve gotten many views of immigration over the past year, especially here in Arizona. But I was struck this past weekend as I read an essay with insight that we don’t typically receive.
I found it in a Mother Jones article that detailed the immigration situation through the lens of an immigration law judge.
As you might guess, that view is one of a vast bottleneck of cases, with justice—or at least decisions—rendered in a matter of seconds.
What many forget is that immigration judges are employed by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Thus, as we look through our mind’s eye at our elementary-school chart of the separation of powers, these judges sit in the same frame as the rest of the executive branch. Checks and balances do not apply.
The story examines the cluttered calendar of an immigration judge, who must weigh the law and facts with remarkable speed. And what is at stake is far more than a property dispute or some lost overtime. As the author Casey Miner writes, “With just minutes to decide whether someone gets deported, overworked immigration judges have reached a breaking point.”