"If you get a speeding ticket from a traffic cop, you don’t have to pay the fine until the case is resolved in court. But things are different if the Department of Homeland Security seeks to have you deported."
So write Boyd Professors Fatma Marouf and Michael Kagan, along with Professor Rebecca Gill (UNLV Political Science) in a column in The Washington Post. For three years, they have conducted groundbreaking empirical research on how federal courts adjudicate immigration appeals.
In their Post column, they highlight a basic problem: Immigrants can be deported even while their appeals are still pending in court. This recently happened to a Guatemalan mother and child who were detained in Pennsylvania, and then deported by the Department of Homeland Security to Guatemala City two weeks after they filed an appeal.
Professors Kagan, Gill and Marouf highlight problems in the way the courts issue stays of removal to prevent this from happening. As they write:
"To decide whether to grant a stay of removal, a court must decide whether the immigrant is likely to eventually win her appeal. But in our research, we found that in about half of the appeals that were ultimately successful, the court initially guessed wrong and denied the stay, leaving an immigrant at risk of an errant deportation."
Professors Gill, Kagan and Marouf have been continuing their research, and are now focusing on the impact of gender on immigration cases in federal courts. Their initial findings were recently highlighted in The Wall Street Journal.
Professors Kagan and Marouf co-direct the Immigration Clinic at Boyd.