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Jayapal Leads Lawmakers in Letter Urging Attorney General Garland to Restore Due Process, Transparency in Immigration System

The letter calls on the Department of Justice to reverse cruel Trump-era anti-immigrant policies and swiftly address the immigration case backlog that has left more than 1.5 million immigrants in limbo

WASHINGTON –  U.S. Representative Pramila Jayapal (WA-07) led lawmakers today in calling on the Department of Justice to restore due process in the immigration system and improve immigration court docket management protocols. The letter urged Attorney General Merrick Garland to undo harmful and anti-immigrant Trump-era policies that were both ineffective to address the growing backlog of cases – which has ballooned to more than 1.5 million – and compromised due process in our immigration system. 

“Given the negative impact of policies such as this on due process and the integrity of the immigration court system, we urge you to commit the necessary resources to address systemic problems,” said the lawmakers. 

In their letter, the lawmakers outlined two specific actions they urge DOJ to take, including:

  • Restoring due process and transparency: terminating or modifying Trump-era policies, including the Executive Office of Immigration Review’s (EOIR) “no dark court rooms” policy, which is ineffective at addressing the immigration case backlog. The lawmakers also recommend limiting virtual hearings to the extent possible given their negative impact on due process. 
  • Improving docket management protocols: addressing the unsustainable backlog by removing cases from the docket that could be addressed using tools administrative closure, deferred adjudication, and re-calendaring. 

The letter was sent as a follow-up to a previous letter to DOJ urging Attorney General Garland to immediately implement a set of reforms against the Trump administration’s cruel and harmful anti-immigration policies. 

It was signed by U.S. Representatives Pramila Jayapal, Jerry Nadler, Alma S. Adams, Jamaal Bowman, Julia Brownley, Joaquin Castro, Judy Chu, Jason Crow, Adriano Espaillat, Jesús G. “Chuy” García, Sylvia R. Garcia, Jimmy Gomez, Raúl M. Grijalva, Jahana Hayes, Marcy Kaptur, Barbara Lee, Ted Lieu, Alan Lowenthal, Carolyn B. Maloney, James P. McGovern, Grace Meng, Grace F. Napolitano, Marie Newman, Eleanor Holmes Norton, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, Frank Pallone, Jr., Jimmy Panetta, Mark Pocan, Ayanna Pressley, Lucille Roybal-Allard, Linda T. Sánchez, Jan Schakowsky, Adam Smith, Dina Titus, Rashida Tlaib, Norma Torres, Juan Vargas, Nydia M. Velázquez, Bonnie Watson Coleman, and Frederica S. Wilson. 

A copy of the letter can be viewed here