Friday, January 13, 2006

Immigration Judges Face Investigation

In a strongly worded memo, U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales has told the nation's 215 immigration courts the Justice Department will investigate the way judges treat people who appear in their courtrooms.

The review was prompted by "reports of immigration judges who fail to treat aliens appearing before them with appropriate respect and consideration and who fail to produce the quality of work that I expect from employees from the Department of Justice," Gonzales wrote.

"While I remain convinced that most immigration judges ably and professionally discharge their difficult duties, I believe there are some whose conduct can aptly be described as intemperate or even abusive and whose work must improve," he wrote.

Gonzales' decision underscores the growing tension between federal judges and the immigration courts. Appellate judges across the nation, especially on the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which hears the bulk of the nation's immigration cases, have been sharply critical of the way immigration judges comport themselves.

Source: Los Angeles Daily Journal, Jan. 11, 2006

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