Beyond Decisional Independence: Uncovering Contributors to the Immigration Adjudication Crisis
Jill E. Family
Widener University - Commonwealth Law School
September 1, 2010
Kansas Law Review, Vol. 59, p. 541, 2011
Widener Law School Legal Studies Research Paper No. 10-24
This article reveals the complicated dynamics of the immigration adjudication crisis. The lesson discovered is that it is important to look beyond any one contributor to the crisis when searching for solutions. Recent proposals for immigration adjudication reform acknowledge that fixing the system requires a multi-faceted approach. This article confirms the need for such an approach by showing how one popular cause of the crisis, a lack of decisional independence, only scratches the surface of what ails the immigration adjudication system.
While decisional independence is crucial, it is vital to understand and to emphasize that achieving decisional independence will not fix all of what ails immigration adjudication. Focusing attention away from this one factor reveals five other substantial contributors to the shortcomings of immigration adjudication: substantive immigration law; the conflicting signals of immigration adjudication; the lack of de facto adjudicator independence; the use of diversions from the system; and weakened judicial review. These other contributors are causes of some of the system’s deepest troubles. If these other contributors are not addressed, any reform likely will produce disappointing results.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 50
Keywords: immigration Adjudication, Immigration
JEL Classification: K1
Date posted: August 16, 2010 ; Last revised: July 23, 2015