ILNews

Circuit slams immigration appeals board

Michael W. Hoskins
January 1, 2007
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The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago issued an immigration ruling today reiterating a message that the justice department isn't giving asylum cases enough review.

The opinion is one of an already long list of examples where Circuit Courts slam the nation's immigration court system, a mostly administrative process flowing through the U.S. Department of Justice. The 7th Circuit has been especially critical of the system.

In its three-page decision in Hanna Youssef Mekhael v. Michael B. Mukasey, No. 06-4285, opinion author Judge Richard Posner granted review and vacated a ruling from the administrative Board of Immigration.

The case involves a Lebanese citizen who sought asylum and relief here in July 2005 but was denied. That petitioner later asked for the case to be reopened because of new conditions in the home country, but the board denied that request because evidence wasn't persuasive, detailed "ongoing problems in Lebanon," and was available before the initial hearing.

"The Board's reasoning was remarkable, since the petitioner's evidence concerned dramatic, portentous events that had occurred after the administrative record was closed, and so could not have been discovered before the July 2005 hearing," Judge Posner wrote. "... The only ground of our decision is in the Board's failure to articulate a reasoned response to the motion. We understand the Board's staggering workload. But the Department of Justice cannot be permitted to defeat judicial review by refusing to staff the Immigration Court and Board of Immigration Appeals with enough judicial officers to provide reasoned decisions."
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  1. Paul Ogden doing a fine job of remembering his peer Gary Welsh with the post below and a call for an Indy gettogether to celebrate Gary .... http://www.ogdenonpolitics.com/2016/05/indiana-loses-citizen-journalist-giant.html Castaways of Indiana, unite!

  2. It's unfortunate that someone has attempted to hijack the comments to promote his own business. This is not an article discussing the means of preserving the record; no matter how it's accomplished, ethics and impartiality are paramount concerns. When a party to litigation contracts directly with a reporting firm, it creates, at the very least, the appearance of a conflict of interest. Court reporters, attorneys and judges are officers of the court and must abide by court rules as well as state and federal laws. Parties to litigation have no such ethical responsibilities. Would we accept insurance companies contracting with judges? This practice effectively shifts costs to the party who can least afford it while reducing costs for the party with the most resources. The success of our justice system depends on equal access for all, not just for those who have the deepest pockets.

  3. As a licensed court reporter in California, I have to say that I'm sure that at some point we will be replaced by speech recognition. However, from what I've seen of it so far, it's a lot farther away than three years. It doesn't sound like Mr. Hubbard has ever sat in a courtroom or a deposition room where testimony is being given. Not all procedures are the same, and often they become quite heated with the ends of question and beginning of answers overlapping. The human mind can discern the words to a certain extent in those cases, but I doubt very much that a computer can yet. There is also the issue of very heavy accents and mumbling. People speak very fast nowadays, and in order to do that, they generally slur everything together, they drop or swallow words like "the" and "and." Voice recognition might be able to produce some form of a transcript, but I'd be very surprised if it produces an accurate or verbatim transcript, as is required in the legal world.

  4. Really enjoyed the profile. Congratulations to Craig on living the dream, and kudos to the pros who got involved to help him realize the vision.

  5. Why in the world would someone need a person to correct a transcript when a realtime court reporter could provide them with a transcript (rough draft) immediately?

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