« Ind. Gov't. - The Legislative Council sets Technical Correction Day to amend HEA 1006, the Criminal Sentencing Law | Main | Ind. Gov't. - More on: The Legislative Council sets Technical Correction Day to amend HEA 1006, the Criminal Sentencing Law [Updated] »

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Courts - "Immigration court tech crash drags on" - amazing story

This is an astonishing story from Josh Gerstein at Politico. Some quotes:

A massive computer crash at the nation’s immigration courts recently entered its second month, leaving many of the courts' systems frozen in time and making it difficult for those in deportation proceedings to get information on their cases.

The technology failure is causing filings by lawyers to pile up at courts around the country and appears to be delaying the process of deciding which immigrants have legal grounds to stay in the U.S. and which should be kicked out.

“We are now limping along, keeping the system running with paper clips and scotch tape. It’s appalling,” said Dana Marks, president of the National Association of Immigration Judges. “You can’t access recordings made in the past without the computerized docketing system. Unless the case was calendared before the system crashed, we cannot use the digital recording system to make a record now.” * * *

The computer breakdown has received only a smattering of attention from the press and hast yet to trigger the high-level crisis response that the Obama Administration launched when its new healthcare.gov website ran aground last fall. Some involved say a nationwide computer failure in federal civil or criminal courts would never have been allowed to carry on for more than a few days.

However, those affected directly by the immigration court woes are not U.S. citizens or voters, though their families may be.

“Look at all the publicity over the Obamacare” website, Marks said. “Shouldn’t this have the same level of outcry and shock? This is the docketing system for cases involving 360,000 people allegedly in US illegally. Not all are removable, but it’s a law enforcement function. I think most of the American people would think that is something that should have multiple redundancies.”

ILB: In 2012 the ILB had this post about the federal Economic Development Administration, whose site had been down for several months, allegedly because of a virus. This was followed a year later by an Inspector General’s report on the Economic Development Administration’s reaction to the infections, which was reported on the The Volokh Conspiracy in a post headed "Malware Infection Leads Government Agency to Destroy $170,000 Worth of Computing Hardware (And Plan to Destroy $3 Million Worth)."

Posted by Marcia Oddi on May 14, 2014 04:11 PM
Posted to Courts in general