According to its website, “[t]he EOIR was created on January 9, 1983, through an internal Department of Justice (DOJ) reorganization which combined the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA or Board) with the Immigration Judge function previously performed by the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) (now part of the Department of Homeland Security). Besides establishing EOIR as a separate agency within DOJ, this reorganization made the Immigration Courts independent of INS, the agency charged with enforcement of federal immigration laws.” In 2013, EOIR observed its 30th anniversary.
The lengthy EOIR system of hearings and appeals enables illegal aliens and criminal alien residents to remain in the United States both legally and illegally for years, often in perpetuity. The EOIR and the DHS bureaucracy enable thousands of detained aliens facing deportation to be released back to the streets on an immigration bond or paroled out of federal custody during the EOIR hearing process — giving them the option of disappearing back into the United States regardless of the outcome of their Immigration Court hearings. The lack of physical security on the land border exposes the EOIR process for the charade that it is. Deported aliens just walk back in.
The EOIR offers a litigation gateway to the federal circuit courts of appeal, and sometimes even to the U.S. Supreme Court, for every illegal alien and criminal alien resident in deportation proceedings. After reviewing Immigration Court decisions at the Board of Immigration Appeals (its appellate body) the EOIR system offers automatic federal circuit appellate court review for the deportation of every illegal alien and every criminal alien resident in the United States. With endless available options for filing appeals and motions available to a competent immigration lawyer, EOIR hearings and appeals are never really over until the alien wins.
Although alleged to be a system for determining whether particular illegal aliens and criminal alien residents are deportable under the law, in reality the EOIR hearing system is designed to give aliens a mechanism to apply for relief from removal and remain in the United States. The EOIR’s immigration judges routinely award “green cards” (lawful permanent resident status) to illegal aliens through adjustment of status, and also allow convicted criminal aliens to remain in the United States. The over 200 EOIR immigration judges earn at least $109,587 per year, plus generous federal benefits.
The EOIR is just another monumental waste of taxpayers money. The EOIR unnecessarily formalizes simple review processes that already are entrusted to specially-trained (and most likely lesser-paid) federal employees including consular officers, district adjudications officers, immigration inspectors, special agents, immigration agents, deportation officers and asylum officers all over the country and the world. A system dedicated to giving formal hearings and appeals for even previously-deported illegal aliens and criminal aliens is a system begging to be abolished. As a deportation system, the EOIR is designed to fail, and it does. As a machine for facilitating mass immigration, the EOIR is a raging success.
What’s the solution? It was identified in the 1995 book, Alien Nation — Common sense about America’s Immigration Disaster (page 260), by Peter Brimelow. “Deportation procedures, for both legal and illegal aliens, should be streamlined, and criminal aliens automatically deported.” How would we do this?
- Take away the EOIR’s jurisdiction piece-by-piece in a move towards abolishing the EOIR’s nationwide U.S. Immigration Court System and Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA).
- Institute summary removal of all illegal aliens and pre-determined classes of criminal alien residents by federal immigration officers without judicial review.
- Abolish all stealthy amnesty adjustment of status provision that reward law-breaking (as well as all discretionary “second chances” for criminal aliens) in the immigration and nationality act that are currently administered by the EOIR
- Eliminate the immigration benefit fraud magnet of U.S. -based asylum processing at DHS asylum offices run by its Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) division. Create a system where all asylum processing is done exclusively at U.S. Consulates abroad, or by the U.S. State Department for those countries where the U.S. does not have a consular presence.
- Eliminate non-immigrant visa-jumping from one category to another, as well as adjusted from non-immigrant to lawful permanent resident status for aliens already in the United States. All aliens wishing an adjustment of status or change of status should be required to exit the United States and receive a valid visa at the U.S. Consulate abroad, in order to make another lawful entry into the United States. Upon reentry, all applicants must then be able to satisfy the requirements for admissibility to the United States once again, including the unlawful presence grounds of Immigration Act Section 212 (a)(9).
Congress can threaten to “close the border” all it wants, but as long as the EOIR remains in place, all is well for open borders. The system will remain sabotaged behind the scenes.
For immigration law enforcement to work, America needs summary deportation, not perpetual immigration litigation in the federal courts. Real immigration law enforcement is arresting aliens, deporting them, and making sure they stay out for good. And that means summary removal, not perpetual federal litigation. That means officers with guns removing as many interlopers and criminals as quickly and efficiently as possible.
What exactly does the EOIR Immigration Court do? After determining the deportability of an alien under immigration law, the bulk of an EOIR immigration judge’s time is spent deciding applications for relief from removal. In other words, the EOIR administers a smorgasbord of non-deportation “second chances,” and outright grants of lawful permanent resident status.
The EOIR Immigration Court’s jurisdiction includes “Cancellation of removal for non-permanent residents” — This ongoing amnesty program of “non-resident cancellation” allows illegal aliens to receive “green cards” — lawful permanent resident (LPR) status — if they have lived in the U.S. illegally for 10 years and have a spouse, parent or child who is a U.S. citizen or an LPR. EOIR Immigration judges determine whether the alien’s deportation would cause “exceptional and extremely unusual hardship” to the qualifying relative. To reward the aliens’ stealth in hiding successfully in the U.S. for ten years, EOIR judges give out “green cards” in the same court proceedings that were supposedly started to deport the alien in the first place. “Suspension of deportation” — This benefit was the first incarnation of the “non-resident cancellation of removal” rolling amnesty. If an illegal alien avoided detection in the United States for seven years, the alien didn’t even need to have a “qualifying relative” as in the “cancellation of removal” green card give-away. Again, this give-away is a reward for illegal aliens who have broken the immigration laws by living and working in the U.S. illegally. “Special NACARA suspension of deportation” — The Nicaraguan Adjustment and Central American Relief Act of 1997 gives special benefits to prior political asylum applicants regardless of whether or not their asylum claims have any validity. This benefit allows aliens to apply under the former suspension of deportation standard if the aliens merely filed a political asylum application and have been living in the United States illegally from more than 20 different countries. “Section 212(c) waiver” — This benefit is the first incarnation of the permanent resident “cancellation of removal” provision. It also allowed resident alien criminals to keep their “green cards” in spite of being deportable for various crimes. Congress attempted to scale back this form of relief to deport many drug smugglers and violent felons, but their efforts were struck down by the U. S. Supreme Court in June of 2001. The Supreme Court gave green cards and the pathway to U. S. citizenship to countless criminal aliens. The former INS rushed to expand the ruling even more through policy, making even more criminal aliens eligible to stay in the country.
The Department of Justice’s EOIR is the power behind the scenes in immigration law enforcement and the greatest obstacle to real immigration reform in the federal government. The EOIR is the legal bureaucracy that regulates, and in effect cripples, the deportation of illegal aliens and criminal alien residents in the United States. An analysis of the entire jurisdiction of the EOIR revealed that every single component is already accomplished by other federal government divisions.
Unfortunately, enforcing the laws alone won’t eliminate the illegal alien invasion. How the federal government deports illegal aliens and criminal alien residents is a bigger problem than enforcing the laws. The Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) is a federal agency within the U.S. Department of Justice. The hidden truth about the EOIR is that America’s deportation process for illegal aliens and criminal alien residents is designed for failure. What starts out as deportation becomes perpetual litigation — and relatively few deportable aliens ever leave. With the complicity of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the EOIR litigation bureaucracy forms the concealed piece in the puzzle of institutionalized mass immigration sponsorship by the federal government.
In 1983, the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) was created in the Justice Department by taking the Immigration Judge function out of the INS and combining it with the Board of Immigration Appeals in the Justice Department. The EOIR is the centerpiece of a largely unknown de facto stealth permanent amnesty and non-deportation program for illegal aliens and criminal alien residents. As a deportation system, the EOIR is designed to fail, and it does. But as a machine for facilitating mass immigration, the EOIR is a raging success. In other words, with endless available options for filing appeals and motions available to a competent immigration lawyer, EOIR hearings and appeals are never really over until the alien wins.
Under current federal law, all illegal aliens and criminal alien residents have the “right” to a hearing before an EOIR immigration judge, as well as the “right” to appeal their case to the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA), and then on to the federal courts . . . and back-and-forth almost indefinitely. That’s the problem with expecting to expel illegal aliens and convicted foreign criminals from our country through litigation. It just doesn’t work.
The EOIR, with its Immigration Court system of perpetual hearings and appeals to federal court, provides the perfect forum for a gradual chipping away of any immigration law enforcement provisions passed by Congress. The Immigration Court problem requires the creation of a completely new framework for the removal of illegal aliens and criminal alien residents from the United States, and allows endless litigation. This program cost an estimated $250 million in FY 2007. This does not include the yearly salary of at least $109,587 for each of the more than 200 EOIR judges in this country. The current yearly salary of the nearly 300 EOIR judges is more than $160,000. The requested 2014 EOIR budget was approximately $330 million.
What would happen if the EOIR and BIA were abolished? There are thousands of federal government employees around the country and at United States consulates abroad who already perform the same functions as the employees of the EOIR.
In 1996, the “Anti-Terrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act (AEDPA) of 1996″ was signed into law. Since that time, this highly effective enforcement law has been continually eroded by the ACLU and AILA. This could not have happened without the EOIR being in existence.
The Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 includes a section, Section 235(b), that streamlines the removal provisions of the section. The provisions of this section need to be enforced to the fullest extent possible.