Circuit court judges throughout the nation have sharply criticized the immigration courts' failure to protect due process and uphold fundamental rights. These decisions have played a significant role in the immigration debate. Cuellar-Lopez v. Gonzales is one of several cases the National Immigrant Justice Center has appealed to the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals to demonstrate the need for review of lower cases by independent judges.
In this case, the Seventh Circuit held that the Board of Immigration Appeals violated Mr. Cuellar-Lopez's due process rights and denied him an effective appeal by issuing an "affirmance without opinion" of the lower court's decision, 427 F.3d 492 (7th Cir. 2005).