The National Law Journal reports that Judge Richard Posner was sharply critical of the system for adjudicating claims of asylum in a speech sponsored by the Chicago Bar Association on Monday.
Posner . . . said administrative law judges who serve in the immigration courts are ill-trained and insufficient in number. He also said the bar that represents applicants doesn't have enough qualified lawyers, and that the Board of Immigration Appeals, which has 11 members, is too small.Posner blasts immigration courts as 'inadequate' and ill-trained, Nat'l L.J. web only, April 22, 2008. (Alas, you have to have a Nat'l L.J. subscription to see the whole article.)
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Judges should be better trained, especially with respect to the international issues they may be asked to consider; more law schools should offer clinics to help improve the quality of the bar; the Board of Immigration Appeals should add members; and judges should hold a conference to exchange ideas on the state of the system, he said.
The criticisms from federal judges are not new. For a longer article discussing the issue, see Adam Liptak, Courts Criticize Judges' Handling of Asylum Cases, N.Y. Times, Dec. 26, 2005.
And for a moving personal story of the system at work, see David Ngaruri Kenney and Philip G. Schrag, Asylum Denied: A Refugee's Struggle for Safety in America (2008) (see earlier post).