Friday, January 22, 2021
Tal Kopan for the San Francisco Chronicle (registration required) reports on an investigation of the of misconduct in the immigration courts, which many believe deserve increased oversight and reform. "Bad conduct, leering ‘jokes’ — immigration judges stay on bench Interviews with dozens of attorneys and government officials show that sexual harassment problems have festered for years. The Justice Department has long lacked a strong system for reporting and responding to sexual harassment and misconduct."
The story begins as follows:
"One judge made a joke about genitalia during a court proceeding and was later promoted. Another has been banned for more than seven years from the government building where he worked after management found he harassed female staff, but is still deciding cases.
A third, a supervisor based mostly in San Francisco, commented with colleagues about the attractiveness of female job candidates, an internal investigation concluded. He was demoted and transferred to a courtroom in Sacramento.
The three men, all immigration judges still employed by the Justice Department, work for a court system designed to give immigrants a fair chance to stay in the U.S. Every day, they hear some of the most harrowing stories of trauma in the world, many from women who were victims of gender-based violence and who fear that their lives are at risk if they are deported to their native countries."