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22 Geo. Immigr. L.J. 259 (2007-2008)
Effective Processing or Assembly-Line Justice - The Use of Teleconferencing in Asylum Removal Hearings

handle is hein.journals/geoimlj22 and id is 263 raw text is: 


             FRANK   M.  WALSH*   AND EDWARD M. WALSH**

   This article, based on  statistics compiled by the Executive  Office for
Immigration   Review  (EOIR)   exclusively for this article, the author's
experience at the Department of Defense, and the author's trial experience in
multiple asylum hearings, examines the use of video teleconferencing (VTC)
in asylum removal  hearings as codified in 28 U.S.C. § 1229a. While VTC has
been lauded as the panacea for backlogged immigration  dockets, no previous
researcher has used statistics to analyze the effect of VTC on asylum removal
hearings. Based  on the decisions in over 500,000 cases, this article argues
that VTC  roughly doubles to a statistically significant degree the likelihood
that an applicant will be denied asylum. In addition to calling into question
the effectiveness of VTC,  the statistical 'effect of VTC also implicates an
asylum  applicant's Due Process rights. This article rejects the use of VTC at
asylum  hearings and argues for a more selective use of VTC that would better
protect the integrity of United States Immigration Courts.

                             I.  INTRODUCTION
   The integration of new information technologies to allow for greater video
teleconferencing (VTC)   in modern courtrooms  has been championed   as a
way  to expand  access to justice' and efficiently process potentially costly
cases.2 Since the Federal Judicial Conference, the policymaking body of the
federal courts, authorized the use of VTC   in prisoner civil rights pretrial

  *  Georgetown University Law Center, Juris Doctor, May 2007; Yale University, B.A., May 2004.
I would like to thank Professor Andrew Schoenholtz for all his inspiration and guidance on this
article. His footprint on this article is deep.
  **  Yale University, B.A., May 2007. The authors dedicate this article to our father, Edward
Whaley Walsh, 1954-2006, for teaching us the necessity of moral clarity, the value of seeking justice,
and the importance of doing what is right. We will never forget his lessons or the example he set. @
2008, Frank M. Walsh and Edward M. Walsh.
  1. See Cormac T. Connor, Note, Human Rights Violations in the Information Age, 16 GEo.
IMMIGR. L.J. 207, 214 (2001) (discussing the difficulties aliens in remote detention centers have in
reaching an attorney).
  2. Operations of the Immigration and Naturalization Service: Hearing Before H. Jud. Comm,
(1994) 1994 WL 545250 (F.D.C.H.) (testimony of Doris Meissner, Commissioner of Immigration and
Naturalization Service).


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