Immigration Judges Face Annual Review

The New York Times reported yesterday that immigration judges will hereafter be subject to annual performance evaluations. This change in policy is prompted by recent and widespread criticism of their decisions by the federal courts of appeals. The immigration judges have come under attack not just for issuing poor decisions, but also for “bullying” and “brow-beating” the people who appear before them. For example, in a recently decided case, Cham v. Attorney General of the United States, the Third Circuit described the Immigration Judge’s behavior as “cruel” and “abusive,” and directed the case be reassigned to a new judge.

The Department of Justice has recently conducted a comprehensive review of Immigration Judges’ decisions, but has yet to publicly disclose its findings. Since I cannot think of a good basis for withholding findings of an investigation of this kind from the public, I hope that someone pursues access to that information through a Freedom of Information Act request.

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