Unions, Attorneys Want Immigration Courts Closed
A coalition of immigration lawyers, a judges’ union and a union of trial attorneys for ICE has been calling on the Justice Department to close immigration courts during the coronavirus outbreak.
Hearings for people not held in detention have been postponed, but four courts in Arizona remain open.
A Justice Department spokesperson says the Executive Office For Immigration Review is relying on guidance from public health officials to help make decisions on each immigration court.
The White House has said to avoid social gatherings of more than 10 people.
“Standing shoulder-to-shoulder in long security lines. Riding in crowded elevators. And being placed in cramped waiting rooms. And courtrooms bursting at the seams with people. Everyone is at risk,” said Ashley Tabaddor, president of the National Association of Immigration Judges.
The Justice Department spokesperson says court staff and those with hearings are urged to follow hygiene guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.