Los Angeles Times

Commentary: Trump administration turns judges into prosecutors in a judge's robe

In the immigration courts that Americans saw in news stories this summer, children were appearing alone at bewildering legal proceedings. But the nation's immigration courts - about 350 judges with monumental caseloads - handle all manner of immigration matters, including asylum cases and deportations. Their union has filed a labor grievance against their boss, the Justice Department, over a judge removed from his cases after he questioned whether the government's "come to court" notices were correct and reaching the people facing deportation.

Judge A. Ashley Tabaddor, speaking as president of the National Association of Immigration Judges, explains the group's rare step in making a labor grievance public. The unusual role and status of the nation's immigration courts just got a lot more unusual.

–– You are judges, but you are not part of the judiciary branch of the U.S. government. You work for the Department of Justice, in the executive branch.

That's probably one of the most misunderstood parts of our court system. Our immigration court system is situated within the Department of Justice, and we are all ultimately accountable to the U.S. attorney general, who appointed us to this position

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

More from Los Angeles Times

Los Angeles Times2 min read
8 People Injured When Fire Breaks Out In LA High-rise, Officials Say
LOS ANGELES - A fire broke out in a 25-story Los Angeles residential building Wednesday morning, injuring eight people - including a 3-month-old baby - and triggering a large response from city firefighters. The blaze was reported by fire crews in th
Los Angeles Times5 min readWellness
Coronavirus: China Has Quarantined 50 Million People. Experts Worry That Might Backfire
The race to curb the spread of the new strain of coronavirus that has killed more than 100 people worldwide has triggered a massive public health experiment in China that is being closely watched by health experts around the globe. Chinese authoritie
Los Angeles Times6 min read
Gwyneth Paltrow Got Real Women's Vulvas Onto Netflix. Here's How She Did It
Since she founded her lifestyle brand Goop 11 years ago, Gwyneth Paltrow has been the target of nearly relentless - and sometimes justified - criticism. She's been accused of peddling pseudoscience and being out of touch with the needs of regular wom