Saturday, January 15, 2022

Lack of Accountability of Immigration Judge: A flawed accountability system?

Yilun Cheng for the Columbus Dispatch offers a troubling and detailed report on the lack of accountability of immigration judges for their actions and statements.  The story tells of an immigration judge deriding "illegals", bullying Latinx noncitizens, in open court and more.  According to the report,

"In May 2021, the Ohio chapter of the American Immigration Lawyers Association submitted a group complaint against Riley to the Executive Office for Immigration Review . . . . 

Citing the experience of six anonymous immigrants, . . .  the complaint accuses [an immigration judge] of biases against Latino immigrants, bullying and hostile questioning, a lack of professional competence and other alleged misconducts.

But complainants . . . and their attorneys said they have been disappointed that their efforts did not lead to any lasting changes or that there was little transparency in the investigation process."

The story quotes Austin Kocher, a research associate professor at the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse, a research institute at Syracuse University.  “Immigration attorneys don’t file these complaints often enough because they still have to practice in front of these judges,” said Kocher, whose research focuses on immigration policies. “You can't file a complaint one day against a judge and the next day come in with your client and expect the judge to treat them well. There’s just a real lack of systematic accountability.”


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