Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Matthew Kolken Quoted in the Daily Beast

“There’s very little difference between President Trump and President Obama with respect to the jailing of refugee children in deportation internment camps,” said Matt Kolken, a lawyer who also represents children seeking asylum in the U.S. “There’s been a systemic assault on the rights of immigrants by both President Obama and President Trump with respect to them using a detained setting as a way to dissuade people from coming to the United States.”

Click here for the full story.

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Separating Mothers from their Children is Abhorrent and Unfortunately we Have Seen it Before

This past Memorial Day weekend photographs were published on The USA Today network depicting refugee children sleeping uncovered on concrete floors behind locked gates like stray animals. The photographs were used to illustrate how the Trump administration’s immigration enforcement policies are crimes against humanity. The result was justifiable outrage stemming from the Trump administration’s election to prosecute, and then separate mothers from their children after they violate the criminal law prohibiting the improper entry by an alien

The only problem, the photographs making the rounds were taken in 2014, and the abuses illustrated were perpetrated by the hand of the Obama administration. The photographs went viral on social media, and the misguided, although understandable horror was further fueled by Jake Silverstein, the Editor in Chief of the New York Times Magazine, who Tweeted them out, and subsequently was required to issue a #FakeNews mea culpa

Let me be clear
, the Obama administration engaged in a systemic assault on the rights of immigrants during his tenure as the Deporter-in-Chief. And examples continue to emerge. The International Human Rights Clinic at the University of Chicago School of Law recently released a report outlining crimes the Obama administration allegedly committed against refugee children in their custody. 

Examples of abuses against immigrant children include:

  • Punching a child in the head three times;
  • Kicking a child in the ribs;
  • Using a stun gun on a boy, causing him to fall to the ground, shaking, with his eyes rolling back in his head;
  • Running over a 17-year-old with a patrol vehicle and then punching him several times;
  • Verbally abusing detained children, calling them dogs and “other ugly things”;
  • Denying detained children permission to stand or move freely for days and threatening children who stood up with transfer to solitary confinement in a small, freezing room;
  • Denying a pregnant minor medical attention when she reported pain, which preceded a stillbirth;
  • Subjecting a 16-year-old girl to a search in which they “forcefully spread her legs and touched her private parts so hard that she screamed”;
  • Leaving a 4-pound premature baby and her minor mother in an overcrowded and dirty cell full of sick people, against medical advice;
  • Throwing out a child’s birth certificate and threatening him with sexual abuse by an adult male detainee.

These types of abuses against refugee children were a dirty open secret of the Obama administration, and were largely ignored by the legacy media, as evidenced by the fact that prominent forces on the left seized the opportunity by circulating the 2014 photographs that parenthetically are not all that dissimilar from those released in 2004 depicting Abu Ghraib torture and prisoner abuse. Those on the left either have very short memories, or they were hoping that we do. We don’t.

Cindy Carcamo, a journalist who has faithfully covered immigration for The Los Angeles Times, appeared on PBS News Hour over the weekend, and explained how President Trump's policy of enforcing the criminal law against illegal entry and separating mothers from their children also occurred when Obama implemented his policy of jailing refugee mothers with their children in deportation internment camps.

It should also be noted that Obama similarly implemented an aggressive strategy of criminally enforcing the immigration law. When Obama left office 52% of all federal criminal prosecutions were for immigration related crimes of the exact nature that Trump and Sessions are now focused on prosecuting. Typically, it was reported that Carcamo is now facing a backlash for straying from the Democrat controlled narrative by infusing some truth into the immigration debate. 

Unfortunately, the outrage we are currently witnessing from hyperpartisan Democratsfar left leaning pundits, and former Obama administration officials about Trump's policy (which is abhorrent) has been conveniently manufactured for political gain. It should also be noted that these same people now voicing outrage were curiously (strategically?) silent about the plight of immigrant children when the Deporter-in-Chief was torturing them in deportation jails

For the record, I’m outraged by both Obama AND Trump. I'm also disgusted because the groundwork for Trump’s enforcement policies was engineered by Obama, and now it is too late to do anything about it. If only Democrats were as outraged when Obama was President, and they actually had influence on the Executive Branch. But I get it, they had a false narrative to advance.

The silver lining from all of this is that the abuse of immigrants is finally being exposed on a wider scale, as I have grown hoarse screaming from rooftops to deaf ears. And to think all it took was for a Republican to win the Presidency.

Matthew Kolken is an immigration lawyer and the managing partner of Kolken & Kolken, located in Buffalo, New York. His legal opinions and analysis are regularly solicited by various news sources, including MSNBC, CNN, FOX News, The Washington Post, Forbes Magazine, and The Los Angeles Times, among others. You can follow him @mkolken.

Thursday, May 24, 2018

This Sunday Join the Vigil at the Berks County Detention Center to #EndFamilyDetention in PA

Every month our friends at Shut Down Berks Interfaith Witness host a vigil at the Berks County Detention Center for families who are detained. These vigils are an opportunity for community members across the state to let the detained families know we continue to fight for their freedom.  

May Vigil to Shut Down Berks
Sunday, May 27th
3:30 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.
1040 Berks Rd, Leesport, PA 19533

RSVP to the Vigil
April's vigil will be led by Shut Down Berks Interfaith Witness. Please join us as we continue to lift our voices for the individuals who continue to be detained in the Berks County Detention Center.

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Trump Admin Says Schools Should Decide Whether to Report Undocumented Kids to ICE

Simply appalling.

Via Politico:

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos said Tuesday that it’s up to individual schools to decide whether to call U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement if they suspect their students are undocumented.

“That’s a school decision. It’s a local community decision,” DeVos said during testimony before the House Education and the Workforce Committee, adding that “we have laws and we also are compassionate.” Her comments came in her first-ever appearance before the education panel, lasting close to three and a half hours.

Click here for more.

Friday, May 18, 2018

End of Administrative Closure Undermines Due Process and Will Add to Court Backlogs

Thursday, May 17, 2018
AG's Latest Move Further Erodes the Independence of Immigration Judges
End of Administrative Closure Undermines Due Process and Will Add to Court Backlogs
WASHINGTON, DC - Today, in a precedent decision, the Attorney General of the United States announced that immigration judges and members of the Board of Immigration Appeals no longer have the authority to "administratively close" court cases before them, with the exception of cases that meet very narrow criteria. With this move, the Attorney General has eliminated a critical docket management tool, effectively ensuring that the immigration court system will remain encumbered with massive case backlogs well into the future.
AILA President Annaluisa Padilla responded, "In today's decision the Attorney General grossly misinterprets the law and disregards existing federal regulation and decades of immigration court practice. The Attorney General cherry-picked a case that is not reflective of the universe of cases that have been administratively closed and with the stroke of a pen, dismissed the inherent authority of judges to manage immigration court proceedings, an authority that has been recognized for more than 30 years and that the National Association of Immigration Judges strongly supports as a matter of court efficiency. Unfortunately, today's decision represents the first in a series of efforts by the Attorney General to singlehandedly rewrite immigration law."
AILA Executive Director Benjamin Johnson stated, "This decision is yet another effort by this administration to undermine due process in immigration proceedings. Due process demands that we maintain an immigration court system with independent judges who have the authority and flexibility to make decisions that are not only legally correct but are also grounded in fundamental fairness. Immigration judges use administrative closure for many legitimate reasons, including court efficiency. But it is also often employed when an immigrant is eligible for some type of legal status that can be pursued outside of court with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Forcing these cases through the court system while another agency is determining the person's eligibility for an immigration benefit wastes finite court resources that can and should be used on more pressing cases. Today's decision erodes judicial independence and strips due process from immigrants, turning the court into a machine for deportations rather than an arbiter of justice."
For more information about the immigration court system, AILA's page on the issue can be accessed at
The American Immigration Lawyers Association is the national association of immigration lawyers established to promote justice, advocate for fair and reasonable immigration law and policy, advance the quality of immigration and nationality law and practice, and enhance the professional development of its members.
Cite as AILA Doc. No. 18051753.

Attorney General Rules on Administrative Closure of Deportation Cases

For the reasons set forth in the accompanying opinion, I affirm the Board’s order and remand for further proceedings. I hold that immigration judges and the Board do not have the general authority to suspend indefinitely immigration proceedings by administrative closure.
Accordingly, immigration judges and the Board may only administratively close a case where a previous regulation or a previous judicially approved settlement expressly authorizes such an action. Where a case has been administratively closed without such authority, the immigration judge or the Board, as appropriate, shall recalendar the case on the motion of either party.
I overrule Matter of Avetisyan, 25 I&N Dec. 688 (BIA 2012), Matter of WY-U-, 27 I&N Dec. 17 (BIA 2017), and any other Board precedent, to the extent those decisions are inconsistent with this opinion.

Thursday, May 17, 2018

District Judge Blocks Revocation of DACA Based on Misstatements of Fact

Via Slate:

On Tuesday, U.S. District Judge Ricardo S. Martinez shot down the federal government’s efforts to strip Daniel Ramirez Medina of his DACA status. Immigrations [Sic] and Customs Enforcement had arrested and detained Ramirez last year, then falsely claimed that he was affiliated with a gang and attempted to deport him. He filed suit, alleging that ICE had violated his due process rights. Martinez agreed. His order barred the federal government from voiding Ramirez’s DACA status, safeguarding his ability to live and work in the United States legally for the foreseeable future. What may be most remarkable about Martinez’s decision, though, is its blunt repudiation of ICE’s main claim—that Ramirez is “gang-affiliated.” The judge did not simply rule against ICE. He accused the agency of lying to a court of law.From the decision:

Most troubling to the Court, is the continued assertion that Mr. Ramirez is gang-affiliated, despite providing no evidence specific to Mr. Ramirez to the Immigration Court in connection with his administrative proceedings, and offering no evidence to this Court to support its assertions four months later. Dkts. #122-1, Ex. D and #129 at 20:20-21:7. Indeed, the Immigration Judge, after reviewing all evidence submitted by respondent, that Mr. Ramirez was credible, and that he was not in a gang or associated with one.

Click here
 to read the decision.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Trump wants an Immigration Oompa Loompa Now

Via The Hill:

President Trump on Tuesday demanded that Congress make progress on building his signature wall along the Mexican border, underlining his frustration with the lack of legislative progress on immigration.

During a visit to Capitol Hill, Trump called on Congress to beef up border security, crack down on so-called sanctuary cities and end the practice of “catch and release” immigration laws — a slate of ideas that have run into a buzz saw of opposition from Democrats.

“We are calling on Congress to secure our borders, support our border agents, stop sanctuary cities and shut down policies that release violent criminals back into our communities,” Trump said at an event outside the Capitol honoring fallen law enforcement officers. “We don’t want it any longer. We’ve had it. Enough is enough.”
Click here for more.

Rally Calling on New York Legislature to Support the One Day To Protect New Yorkers Act

On May 22nd, the Immigrant Defense Project, Fortune Society, and over 100 advocates and elected officials, are heading to Albany to hold a rally calling on the legislature to support the One Day To Protect New Yorkers Act – a bill that would reduce the maximum sentence for a Class A Misdemeanor by just one day, from 365 to 364.
This small change would give federal immigration judges the authority to exercise discretion in more deportation cases and would protect thousands of New Yorkers facing harsh immigration consequences stemming from a misdemeanor offense.
Please help us spread the word about the rally, and raise awareness of the bill, which could save many vulnerable individuals from being permanently separated from their families and communities. Here's the social media toolkit with sample messaging and graphics to share with your networks. 

Trump Administration Preparing to Take Refugee Children from their Mothers

Reminiscent of the Obama administration's strategy of jailing refugee mothers with children fleeing violence in deportation internment camps to "send a message," the Trump administration has decided to up the ante. The Washington Post reports that the Trump administration intends to rip immigrant children from the arms of their mothers when they arrive at our borders and detain them on military bases.

From The Washington Post:

According to an email notification sent to Pentagon staffers, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) will make site visits at four military installations in Texas and Arkansas during the next two weeks to evaluate their suitability to shelter children.

The bases would be used for minors under 18 who arrive at the border without an adult relative or after the government has separated them from their parents. HHS is the government agency responsible for providing minors with foster care until another adult relative can assume custody.

Click here for more.

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

ICE and Justice Department to Host Sheriffs for Panel on the 287(g) Program

ICE Header

For Immediate Release

For media inquiries about ICE activities, operations, or policies, contact the ICE Office of Public Affairs at (202) 732-4242.

ICE and Justice Department to host sheriffs for panel on the 287(g) program

WASHINGTON – ICE Deputy Executive Associate Director Nathalie Asher and Acting Associate Attorney General Jesse Panuccio will host a panel with sheriffs who participate in the 287(g) program on WEDNESDAY, May 16, 2018.


Acting Associate Attorney General Jesse Panuccio;

Deputy Executive Associate Director (EAD) Nathalie Asher of ICE's Enforcement and Removal Operations;

Sheriff A.J. Louderback of Jackson County, Texas;

Sheriff Chuck Jenkins of Frederick County, Maryland;

Sheriff Thomas Hodgson of Bristol County, Massachusetts.


Acting Associate Attorney General Jesse Panuccio and Deputy EAD Nathalie Asher will host a panel with sheriffs who participate in the 287(g) program.

WHEN: WEDNESDAY, May 16, 201810:00 a.m. EDT

WHERE: Department of Justice  Seventh Floor Conference Room

950 Pennsylvania Ave., NW
Washington, DC 20530


NOTE: Please RSVP to and Sarah Sutton at All media must present a government-issued photo I.D. (such as a driver’s license) as well as valid media credentials. Media must enter the building at the visitor’s entrance on Constitution Avenue between Ninth and Tenth Streets. Media may begin arriving as early as 8:30 a.m. EDT and cameras must be pre-set by 9:45 a.m. EDT. This event will be LIVESTREAMED at Questions regarding logistics should be directed to the Office of Public Affairs at 202-514-2007.


Army Chaplain who served in Afghanistan is fighting to save his Husband from Deportation

It appears from the article (if accurate) that there may have been multiple entries without inspection, an order of removal dating back to 2002, and a 2015 alcohol related driving conviction, which would make him a deportation priority. I'll continue to follow this story closely.

Via Newsweek:

A U.S. Army chaplain who served in Afghanistan is fighting to save his husband from deportation after he was arrested by Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Tim Brown, who lives in Sanford, said he had been assured by an ICE agent that his husband, Sergio Avila Rodriguez, would be safe from deportation since he was the spouse of a military officer at a routine appointment with immigration officers on April 18.

"He said, 'Do you think we're going to arrest the spouse of an active-duty Army officer?'" Brown told Newsweek.

That's why he was shocked to receive a call on Thursday, just over a month later, from his husband saying he had been arrested by ICE agents at what he thought would be just another routine meeting.

Click here for more.

Monday, May 14, 2018

ICE Worksite Enforcement Investigations Already Double Over Last Year

u s department of homeland security u s immigration and customs enforcement

WASHINGTON – Less than seven months after U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Deputy Director Thomas Homan issued a directive that called for increased worksite enforcement investigations to ensure U.S. businesses maintain a culture of compliance, the agency’s Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) has already doubled the amount of ongoing worksite cases this fiscal year compared to the last fully completed fiscal year.
From Oct. 1, 2017, through May 4, HSI opened 3,510 worksite investigations; initiated 2,282 I-9 audits; and made 594 criminal and 610 administrative worksite-related arrests, respectively. In comparison, for fiscal year 2017 – running October 2016 to September 2017 – HSI opened 1,716 worksite investigations; initiated 1,360 I-9 audits; and made 139 criminal arrests and 172 administrative arrests related to worksite enforcement.
“Our worksite enforcement strategy continues to focus on the criminal prosecution of employers who knowingly break the law, and the use of I-9 audits and civil fines to encourage compliance with the law,” said Acting Executive Associate Director for HSI, Derek N. Benner. “HSI’s worksite enforcement investigators help combat worker exploitation, illegal wages, child labor and other illegal practices.”
ICE is the federal agency responsible for upholding the laws established by the Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA) of 1986, which requires employers to verify the identity and work eligibility of all individuals they hire. These laws help protect jobs for U.S. citizens and others who are lawfully employed, eliminate unfair competitive advantages for companies that hire an illegal workforce, and strengthen public safety and national security.
Under federal law, employers are required to verify the identity and employment eligibility of all individuals they hire, and to document that information using the Employment Eligibility Verification Form I-9. ICE uses the I-9 inspection program to promote compliance with the law, part of a comprehensive strategy to address and deter illegal employment. Inspections are one of the most powerful tools the federal government uses to ensure that businesses are complying with U.S. employment laws.
A notice of inspection alerts business owners that ICE is going to audit their hiring records to determine whether they are complying with existing law. Employers are required to produce their company’s I-9s within three business days, after which ICE will conduct an inspection for compliance. If employers are not in compliance with the law, an I-9 inspection of their business will likely result in civil fines and could lay the groundwork for criminal prosecution if they are knowingly violating the law. All workers encountered during these investigations who are unauthorized to remain in the United States are subject to administrative arrest and removal from the country.
Failure to follow the law can result in criminal and civil penalties. In FY17, businesses were ordered to pay $97.6 million in judicial forfeitures, fines and restitution, and $7.8 million in civil fines, including one company whose financial penalties represented the largest payment ever levied in an immigration case.
“Employers need to understand that the integrity of their employment records is just as important to the federal government as the integrity of their tax files and banking records. All industries, regardless of size, location and type are expected to comply with the law,” Benner said. “Worksite enforcement protects jobs for U.S. citizens and others who are lawfully employed, eliminates unfair competitive advantages for companies that hire an illegal workforce, and strengthen public safety and national security.”
HSI’s worksite enforcement strategy includes leveraging the agency’s other investigative disciplines, since worksite investigations can often involve additional criminal activity, such as alien smuggling, human trafficking, money laundering, document fraud, worker exploitation and/or substandard wage and working conditions.
HSI uses a three-pronged approach to worksite enforcement: compliance, from I-9 inspections, civil fines and referrals for debarment; enforcement, through the criminal arrest of employers and administrative arrest of unauthorized workers; and outreach, through the ICE Mutual Agreement between Government and Employers, or IMAGE program, to instill a culture of compliance and accountability.

Immigration Courts Featured on Last Week Tonight with John Oliver

Via Last Week Tonight:

"America’s dysfunctional immigration court system forces many children to appear in court alone. That’s as ridiculous in real life as it would be on a courtroom television show."

USCIS Changing Policy on Accrued Unlawful Presence by Students and Exchange Visitors

WASHINGTON—U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) today posted a policy memorandum changing how the agency will calculate unlawful presence for students and exchange visitors in F, J, and M nonimmigrant status, including F-2, J-2, or M-2 dependents, who fail to maintain their status in the United States. 

This policy aligns with President Trump’s Executive Order: Enhancing Public Safety in the Interior of the United States to enforce the immigration laws of the country and will go into effect on Aug. 9, 2018.

“USCIS is dedicated to our mission of ensuring the integrity of the immigration system. F, J, and M nonimmigrants are admitted to the United States for a specific purpose, and when that purpose has ended, we expect them to depart, or to obtain another, lawful immigration status,” said USCIS Director L. Francis Cissna. “The message is clear: These nonimmigrants cannot overstay their periods of admission or violate the terms of admission and stay illegally in the U.S. anymore.”

Individuals in F, J, and M status who failed to maintain their status before Aug. 9, 2018, will start accruing unlawful presence on that date based on that failure, unless they had already started accruing unlawful presence, on the earliest of any of the following:

  • The day after DHS denied the request for an immigration benefit, if DHS made a formal finding that the individual violated his or her nonimmigrant status while adjudicating a request for another immigration benefit;
  • The day after their I-94 expired; or
  • The day after an immigration judge or in certain cases, the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA), ordered them excluded, deported, or removed (whether or not the decision is appealed).

Individuals in F, J, or M status who fail to maintain their status on or after Aug. 9, 2018, will start accruing unlawful presence on the earliest of any of the following:

  • The day after they no longer pursue the course of study or the authorized activity, or the day after they engage in an unauthorized activity;
  • The day after completing the course of study or program, including any authorized practical training plus any authorized grace period;
  • The day after the I-94 expires; or
  • The day after an immigration judge, or in certain cases, the BIA, orders them excluded, deported, or removed (whether or not the decision is appealed).

Individuals who have accrued more than 180 days of unlawful presence during a single stay, and then depart, may be subject to three-year or 10-year bars to admission, depending on how much unlawful presence they accrued before they departed the United States. Individuals who have accrued a total period of more than one year of unlawful presence, whether in a single stay or during multiple stays in the United States, and who then reenter or attempt to reenter the United States without being admitted or paroled are permanently inadmissible.

Those subject to the three-year, 10-year, or permanent unlawful presence bars to admission are generally not eligible to apply for a visa, admission, or adjustment of status to permanent residence unless they are eligible for a waiver of inadmissibility or another form of relief.
This policy memorandum is updating Chapter 40.9.2 of the USCIS Adjudicator’s Field Manual.

USCIS is accepting comments on the policy memorandum. The 30-day public comment period begins today and closes on June 11, 2018. For complete information on the comment process, visit the Policy Memoranda for Comment page.

For more information on USCIS and its programs, please visit or follow us on Twitter (@uscis), YouTube (/uscis) and Facebook (/uscis).

Friday, May 4, 2018

There are 9 Immigration Judge Openings

There are 9 immigration judge vacancies in the following locations:

  • San Francisco, CA
  • Elizabeth, NJ
  • Philadelphia, PA
  • Conroe, TX
  • Seattle, WA
  • Stewart County, GA
  • Las Vegas, NV
  • Memphis, TN
  • Forth Worth, TX

Pay Scale: $132,606 to $174,500 per year

Applicants who have applied to previous Immigration Judge announcements and/or other locations must re-apply to this announcement to receive consideration for this location.

If you are interested in a rewarding and challenging career, this is the position for you!

This position is in the Executive Office for Immigration Review, Office of the Chief Immigration Judge. The Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) seeks highly-qualified individuals to join our team of expert professionals in becoming a part of our challenging and rewarding Agency. The primary mission of the EOIR is to adjudicate immigration cases by fairly, expeditiously, and uniformly interpreting and administering the Nation's immigration laws. Under delegated authority from the Attorney General, EOIR conducts immigration court proceedings, appellate reviews, and administrative hearings.

EOIR consist of three adjudicatory components: the Office of the Chief Immigration Judge, which is responsible for managing the numerous immigration courts located throughout the United States where immigration judges adjudicate individual cases; the Board of Immigration Appeals, which primarily conducts appellate reviews of the immigration judges' decisions; and the Office of the Chief Administrative Hearing Officer, which adjudicates immigration-related employment cases. EOIR is committed to providing the fair, expeditious, and uniform application of our Nation's immigration laws in all cases. EOIR's Headquarters is located in Falls Church, Virginia, about 10 miles from downtown Washington, DC.

More than one position may be filled from this vacancy announcement. Interested individuals may apply to more than one location.

Thursday, May 3, 2018

Justice Department Announces Additional Prosecutors and Immigration Judges For Southwest Border Crisis

Department of Justice
Office of Public Affairs

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Attorney General Jeff Sessions today announced the dedication of additional prosecutors to handle the prosecutions of improper entry, illegal reentry, and alien smuggling cases, and additional immigration judges to handle the adjudication of immigration court cases that result from the crisis at the Southwest border.

Thirty-five new Assistant United States Attorney (AUSA) positions have been allocated to U.S. Attorney’s Offices along the Southwest border. The breakdown of those positions is as follows:

“The American people made very clear their desire to secure our borders and prioritize the public safety and national security of our homeland,” said Attorney General Jeff Sessions. “Promoting and enforcing the rule of law is essential to our republic. By deploying these additional resources to the Southwest border, the Justice Department and the Trump Administration take yet another step in protecting our nation, its borders, and its citizens. It must be clear that there is no right to demand entry without justification.”

Due to a recent increase in the number of apprehensions at the Southwest border, the new AUSA positions announced today will assist in the prosecutions of illegal reentry (8 U.S.C. § 1326), alien smuggling (8 U.S.C. § 1324), and improper entry (8 U.S.C. § 1325) pursuant to the Justice Department’s “Zero-Tolerance Policy” announced by Attorney General Sessions on April 6, 2018 and its prior April 11, 2017 directive to AUSAs to prioritize charging immigration offenses.

In addition to the new AUSA positions, Attorney General Sessions and Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR)Director James McHenry announced the utilization of 18 current supervisory immigration judges to adjudicate cases in immigration courts near the southwest border. The supervisory immigration judges will hear cases in-person and use video teleconferencing (VTC) to handle cases at immigration courts and represent a roughly 50 percent increase in the current number of immigration judges:

“The Justice Department, under Attorney General Jeff Sessions, has made significant reforms and progress in tackling the overwhelming backlog in the immigration court system,” said EOIR Director James McHenry. “We must not let attempts to undermine our lawful immigration system deter that progress, and the men and women at EOIR are proud to play a small role in the Attorney General’s response to the crisis at our Southwest border.”

Between March and September 2017, EOIR mobilized over one hundred immigration judges to Department of Homeland Security detention facilities across the country, including along the Southwest border. In October, EOIR projected that the mobilized immigration judges—hearing both in-person and VTC cases—completed approximately 2,700 more cases than expected if the immigration judges had not been detailed.