VTC has been in use in US courtrooms since the 1990s and, since its integration, has been beset by issues and complaints by judges, lawyers, and respondents. According to the summary report of a 2017 legal case study conducted by Booz Allen Hamilton on the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR), the reviewers noted that, “Faulty VTC equipment - especially issues associated with poor video and sound quality - can disrupt cases to the point that due process issues may arise,” contradicting the decision made by the BIA in 2002. They also mentioned that, “29 percent of staff reported that VTC caused a meaningful delay in their ability to proceed with their daily responsibilities.” In regards to corresponding technology, 33 percent of staff specifically mentioned “digital audio recording,” 31 percent “telephonic interpreters” and 30 percent “internet connectivity.” Booz Allen Hamilton’s recommendation was to “limit the use of VTC to procedural matters.”

These courthouses are closed off to the public despite initial reports that they would be open to observers. One reporter who attempted to visit was told that, “the only people allowed inside the tents…are law enforcement, attorneys with clients, and contractors.” When local residents attempted to enter the courthouse in Brownsville as legal observers, they were turned away by security guards. The guards say that the site was, “not like a normal courthouse,” and that only witnesses and attorneys were allowed in. Other reasons for denial have included that there is, “’no room,’ and that dockets are all ‘too full.’” Immigration attorney, Norma Sepulveda, is quoted as saying that the shipping containers hold only seven people. The excuse that there is “no room” exemplifies how these temporary courthouses have been designed to prevent any oversight into the hearing process. Through their use of tents and shipping containers and exploiting the limitations inherent in each of these components, the DOJ and EOIR have created an extralegal space where hearings are not actually listened to.