Justice News

Department of Justice
Office of Public Affairs

Friday, March 4, 2016

Department of Justice Statement on Immigration Proceedings

Department of Justice Spokesman Kevin Lewis released the following statement on the department’s measures to increases access to counsel for individuals facing removal proceedings in immigration court: 

“As the Justice Department works to safeguard American security, we are equally committed to upholding American values, including the protection of vulnerable populations.

“The Department of Justice recognizes that immigration court proceedings are more effective and efficient when individuals are represented.  To that end, the department has taken a number of measures to increase access to counsel for individuals facing removal proceedings, and children in particular.  For example, in 2014 the Justice Department and the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) announced justice AmeriCorps, a strategic partnership, now in its second year, to enhance the effective and efficient adjudication of immigration proceedings involving certain unaccompanied children.

“The Administration continues to urge Congress to help improve the efficiency of our immigration court system by supporting needed Immigration Judge Teams and Board of Immigration Appeals attorneys, by supporting the successful Legal Orientation Program, and by supporting legal representation for unaccompanied children.

“The Assistant Chief Immigration Judge was speaking in a personal capacity when he made that statement.  The assistant chief judge’s statement does not necessarily represent the views of the Department of Justice.”

Updated September 29, 2016