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Congressional passage of an immigration bill looks more and more uncertain each day. But Sen. Arlen Specter (R-Pa.) made one thing clear last week: He’s ready to ditch the plan to shift all immigration appeals from regional circuits to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. “My instinct is that we’re going to move away from the Federal Circuit” plan, Specter told Legal Times on April 6. Testimony from federal judges — including John Walker Jr., chief judge for the 2nd Circuit, as well as Paul Michel, chief judge for the Federal Circuit — at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing last week was enough to convince Specter that the shift was not practical. Specter is not sure how the Senate bill will help curb the backlog of appeals in federal courts, but he hopes to increase the number of immigration judges and members of the Board of Immigration Appeals.
Emma Schwartz can be contacted at [email protected].

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