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August 13, 2019

Shadawn Reddick-Smith 202-225-3951
Daniel Schwarz 202-225-5635

Nadler & Lofgren Statement on DOJ Petition to Decertify the National Association of Immigration Judges

Washington, D.C. - Last week, the Department of Justice (DOJ) filed a petition with the Federal Labor Relations Authority (FLRA) in an attempt to decertify the National Association of Immigration Judges (NAIJ), the 40-year-old collective bargaining representative of U.S. Immigration Judges.  Today, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) and Subcommittee on Immigration and Citizenship Chair Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) released the following statement:

“The Trump Administration has taken unprecedented steps to strip immigration judges of judicial independence by limiting their ability to manage their dockets and make informed discretionary decisions.  As the voice of our nation’s 440 Immigration Judges, the NAIJ has been a vocal critic of the Administration’s assault on the immigration court system and its efforts to deprive hundreds of thousands of immigrants critical due process protections.  Nearly 20 years ago, the FLRA rejected DOJ’s efforts to decertify the NAIJ.  The fact that the Administration is once again raising similar unfounded arguments makes it clear that DOJ’s actions are blatant retaliation for this opposition and an obvious attempt to shield immigration court operations from public view. 

“The Administration’s attempt to silence immigration judges by engaging in frivolous union busting tactics underscores why we need an immigration court system that is separate and independent from the Executive Branch.  In the coming months, the Judiciary Committee will hold hearings to explore the current state of the U.S. immigration court system and develop a foundation for legislation to create an independent immigration court.”