Why are Immigration Courts at the Breaking Point?

Press Releases

September 29, 2023

IRLI investigation focuses on real problems and solutions

WASHINGTON—One of the driving factors in our dysfunctional immigration system has been our overloaded Immigration Courts. The Immigration Reform Law Institute (IRLI) has published an investigative note examining this problem and offering practical remedies.

The note looks at analysis of the problem offered by the Migrant Policy Institute (MPI), a pro-migrant research organization, as an example of how the Court’s problems are commonly misdiagnosed.

IRLI cites the MPI report’s assessment that hearing delays caused by backlogs create a “lack of certainty” for noncitizens, which results in “serious negative health effects, and that delays in receiving work authorization jeopardizes the ability of noncitizens to earn money.

“What MPI neglects to mention is that the vast majority of these complaints would be immediately negated if the aliens in question simply returned home, where they possess full rights of citizenship,” IRLI’s note said in response. “But MPI, like the rest of the anti-borders contingent appears to be convinced that any foreign national who is dissatisfied with life in his or her home country, has an unfettered right to come to the United States.”

The note also identifies a key reason why our Immigration Courts are struggling: the tendency of the Court to accord more due process to aliens than the law requires.

“The spread of anti-borders ideology in our government has created the problems our Immigration Courts face today,” said Dale L. Wilcox, executive director and general counsel of IRLI. “We have abandoned the idea of secure borders, allowing millions of noncitizens to enter the United States illegally. At the same time, we afford those aliens excessive rights and due process, which creates years of delays for cases to be adjudicated. It has created a process that will only get worse without meaningful reform.”

Matt O’Brien, director of investigations at IRLI, noted that, “Organizations like MPI have repeatedly scratched their heads and asked why we have such a giant backlog in the immigration courts. But the answer is simple: There are too many alien lawbreakers in the US who are being given too many chances to plead their cases, the vast majority of which prove to be entirely baseless.”

Get Connected

Sign up for our email newsletter to stay up to date with immigration reform in the United States.

Attorneys United for a Secure America (AUSA) is a non-partisan affiliation of talented attorneys dedicated to pursuing cases that serve the national interest when it comes to immigration law.

If you are interested in joining the network, visit the AUSA website.