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Immigration and the Courts

Aliens suspected of being in the United States illegally encounter state and federal courts in various ways, from stepped-up federal prosecutions at the border to proceedings resulting from state or federal law enforcement raids on homes and workplaces. And the fate of aliens who seek to stay in the country in the face of government removal efforts rest largely with the Justice Department’s immigration courts, which have been the object of attention not only for how their judges have been selected but also for their heavy caseloads and shortage of resources, including the inadequacy of legal representation available to aliens.

On February 20, Brookings Visiting Fellow Russell Wheeler moderated a discussion with Robert A. Katzmann, who has served since 1999 as a Judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit; Juan P. Osuna, who chairs the Justice Department’s Board of Immigration Appeals; and Andrew I. Schoenholtz, professor of law at the Georgetown University Law Center and deputy director of Georgetown University’s Institute for the Study of International Migration.

The Judicial Issues Forum is a series of public discussions at Brookings on jurisprudence and the role of the courts. The Forum regularly hosts events that address the major legal and juridical debates and events of the day and weigh their potentially far-reaching implications.

After the program, the panelists took audience questions.



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