The Round Table of Former Immigration Judges (RTFIJ), a group of 40 former immigration judges and appellate-level judges of the Board of Immigration Appeals, sent a letter on May 25, 2021, asking Attorney General Merrick Garland to “review and rescind many, if not all, of the decisions that former Attorneys General Sessions, Whitaker, Barr, and Rosen certified to themselves.” RTFIJ said that the “vast majority of those decisions overturned decades of substantive and procedural immigration law and policy and are antithetical to an unbiased and independent immigration court system.”

RTFIJ singled out 17 cases divided into three general categories: (1) decisions regarding the authority of Immigration Judges to control and manage their own dockets; (2) decisions involving the intersection of criminal and immigration laws; and (3) decisions that significantly contract substantive asylum laws. RTFIJ said it is especially concerned about the first and third categories, which “have turned the Immigration Courts into nothing more than cogs in the deportation machine, and Immigration Judges into prosecutors instead of fair and impartial adjudicators.” RTFIJ noted that instead of ensuring the issuance of more orders of removal, the Department of Homeland Security “succeeded only in increasing the case backlog exponentially while reducing the overall case completion rate.”

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