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  1. #1
    Senior Member JohnDoe2's Avatar
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    Immigration court judge is replaced after delaying man's deportation

    In Philly immigration court, a judge is replaced after delaying man's deportation


    Updated: AUGUST 1, 2018 — 1:03 PM EDT

    by Jeff Gammage, Staff Writer
    @JeffGammage
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    jgammage@phillynews.com


    The federal Justice Department replaced a Philadelphia immigration judge who had asked for more legal information in a deportation case, inserting a new jurist who quickly ordered the defendant removed from the United States, according to a letter of protest by 15 retired judges.

    The ouster of Judge Steven Morley from the case marks the latest attack on judicial independence by the Justice Department led by Attorney General Jeff Sessions, the judges wrote.

    “As a democracy, we expect our judges to reach results based on what is just,” they state, “even where such results are not aligned with the desired outcomes of politicians.”

    Justice Department officials declined to comment on Wednesday.

    The July 30 letter, first reported by Buzzfeed News, condemns what it describes as “interference with judicial independence.”

    Morley presided over a case involving Reynaldo Castro-Tum, who had failed to show up at court hearings, Buzzfeed reported. He suspended the case using a procedure known as “administrative closure,” saying the notice sent to Castro-Tum may have gone to the wrong address.

    As head of the Justice Department, which oversees immigration court, Sessions has restricted the use of administrative closure.

    Morley was taken off the case after he asked for briefs to be filed on whether the defendant had been properly notified of the hearing, according to the judges’ letter. The Justice Department’s Executive Office for Immigration Review sent an assistant chief immigration judge to Philadelphia Immigration Court to conduct one preliminary hearing.

    The new judge ordered the defendant removed without further inquiry.

    “Important due process safeguards are required in deportation proceedings,” because the consequences can be life-or-death, the protesting judges wrote. But in this case, the immigration review office sought “to ensure an outcome that would please its higher-ups.”

    The case has upset the community of Philadelphia immigration lawyers.

    “When a sitting judge is removed from a case without cause, and a special judge sent to make a decision, that’s cause for serious concern,” said John Vandenberg of Hogan & Vandenberg LLC, former head of the Philadelphia chapter of the American Immigration Lawyers Association.

    “A degradation of due process in immigration courts could be a bellwether for the degradation of due process in other courts. And due process is what makes our country different.”

    Among the judges who signed the letter were:
    — John Gossart Jr., an immigration judge from 1982 until his retirement in 2013. He’s a former president of the National Association of Immigration Judges, and is co-author of the National Immigration Court Practice Manual.

    — William Joyce, who served in Boston and, before his appointment to the bench, was an assistant U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia.
    — Cecelia Espenoza, who previously was a member of the immigation review board and taught immigration law at the University of Denver.

    Immigration court is a civil, not criminal, system.

    In the flow chart of the federal government, these courts come under the Justice Department. At the top of the department stands the attorney general, who has the power to issue binding decisions on how immigration judges operate.

    Those circumstances cause the courts to be “vulnerable to the political whims of the executive,” wrote the National Immigrant Justice Center, a Chicago-based advocate.

    One judge famously described immigration hearings as death penalty cases heard in traffic court settings.

    In immigration court, young children can be forced to serve as their own lawyers. Defendants generally don’t have the right to court-appointed attorneys. Judges have little discretion, and in some situations cannot terminate proceedings in a case without approval from ranking government lawyers, immigration attorneys say.

    In June, Sessions told immigration judges they could no longer grant asylum to most migrants who come here trying to escape domestic abuse or gang violence. He reversed a ruling that had granted asylum to a Salvadoran woman who said she was physically and emotionally abused by her ex-husband.

    Sessions wrote that an alien could suffer violence in a foreign country for any number of reasons, but “the asylum statute does not provide redress for all misfortune.”

    Groups advocating for tighter controls on immigration, such as the Washington-based Federation for American Immigration Reform, say the asylum system is being gamed by migrants who see a way to avoid deportation.

    They want a faster, tougher approach toward people who claim they’re being persecuted in their homelands.

    http://www.philly.com/philly/news/philadelphia-immigration-court-judge-replaced-deportation-case-justice-department-sessions-20180801.html
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  2. #2
    Senior Member JohnDoe2's Avatar
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    NO AMNESTY

    Don't reward the criminal actions of millions of illegal aliens by giving them citizenship.


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  3. #3
    MW
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    Senior Member MW's Avatar
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    As head of the Justice Department, which oversees immigration court, Sessions has restricted the use of administrative closure.
    AG Jeff Sessions isn't playing games like Obama did. He means business.
    Beezer likes this.

    "The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing" ** Edmund Burke**

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