New Justice Department directives state that the Trump administration will establish a quota system for immigration judges that is tied to their annual performance reviews, in order to pressure them to process cases faster. All immigration judges will be expected to clear 700 cases per year in order to receive a "satisfactory" rating.
The new quotas, detailed in a memo sent to immigration judges on Friday, are part of a wider effort to speed up deportation decisions and reduce a hefty backlog of more than 600,000 cases that are pending before the Executive Office of Immigration Review (EOIR). One of the Justice Department's concerns is that many immigrants can wait years for a court date and are able to legally work in the U.S. during that time, which encourages illegal immigration.
The newly enforced quota hopes to ensure that cases are completed in timely and efficient manners. The 700 case quota roughly breaks down to 3 cases per day, and judges who fail to meet the quota can appeal to their supervisors.
The National Association of Immigration Judges brought up the concern that the quota system could lead to challenges, as outside factors, such as a judge's concern about keeping their job, could influence the integrity of the court.