President Obama on Thursday made it clear that, if a gridlocked Congress won't do its job on immigration reform, he will do that job himself. Now we should hope that he can also turn attention to an immigration challenge that falls under his own branch of government: immigration courts.
A misdemeanor conviction for shoplifting, though unlikely to prompt incarceration, can nevertheless trigger mandatory deportation: dividing families, disrupting communities and preventing people otherwise eligible from seeking asylum.
The tens of thousands of decisions in immigration courts annually will almost never be seen or reviewed by a federal appeals court. Without transparency or accountability, the immigration court system hardly promotes public confidence that justice is being done.