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Jeff Sessions is exerting unprecedented control over immigration courts — by ruling on cases himself

Monday - 14/05/2018 13:19
The attorney general is poised to issue decisions that could determine the fate of tens of thousands of immigrants.
Jeff Sessions
Jeff Sessions

The fate of tens of thousands of immigrants’ court cases could rest in the hands of Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

That’s not a metaphor. Sessions has stepped into the immigration system in an unprecedented manner: giving himself and his office the ability to review, and rewrite, cases that could set precedents for a large share of the hundreds of thousands of immigrants with pending immigration court cases, not to mention all those who are arrested and put into the deportation process in future.

He’s doing this by taking cases from the Board of Immigration Appeals — the Justice Department agency that serves as a quasi-appellate body for immigration court cases — and referring them to himself to issue a decision instead.

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