Sac Bee August 30, 2014 by Alicia Caldwell
WASHINGTON -- The federal immigration court system should be separated from the Justice Department and operated independently of federal law enforcement, the top two leaders of the immigration judges' union said Wednesday.
Judge Dana Leigh Marks, president of the National Association of Immigration Judges, said immigration judges act as arbiters in deportation cases being argued by Homeland Security Department lawyers but judges also are treated as attorneys for the government.
As employees of DOJ's Executive Office for Immigration Review, Marks said, the judges' dual roles can potentially blur the lines for judges who are supposed to act as neutral arbiters in a complicated court system.
"Our goal is to serve as a neutral court, but paradoxically we are housed in a law enforcement agency," Marks said.
And often, decisions about how the court is run are made beyond the court system.
Marks said an example of this is the recent decision by the Obama administration to have immigration courts start hearing cases of newly arrived immigrant children caught crossing the border alone before all other pending cases.
She said there is no other court system in which the government would be allowed to order a total overhaul of the docket, placing particular cases at the top. Marks, a judge in San Francisco, spoke Wednesday at the National Press Club with Denise Noonan Slavin, a Miami-based judge who is the union's executive vice president.
Time to impeach Marks, as well as Denise Noonan Slavin.
Of interest to readers is that Marks, and most likely Slavin as well, uses her official government email to lobby Congress and to speak to the public on the issue of changing the status of immigration judges. It is a violation of law for official email to be used for anything other than official business. See this press announcement by Marks and the National Association of Immigration Judges (NAIJ), a private professional association (not a union), inviting contact from the public on the issue of budgeting and expansion of immigration judge authority and independence.
From the report:
For more information, contact:
The Honorable Dana Leigh Marks
President, National Association of Immigration Judges
120 Montgomery Street, Suite 800
San Francisco, CA 94104
firstname.lastname@example.org or Dana.Marks@usdoj.gov
Time for impeachment. Call Marks at her phone number, a government number, or contact her at her government email an ask her about this serious ethics violation. Note that the address of the NAIJ is also that of the immigration court (Executive Office for Immigration Review), 100 and 120 Montgomery Street, Suite 800, in San Francisco, which are the same building. Here is another announcement from the NAIJ using the 100 Montgomery Street, Suite 800 address.
The real solution though to overcrowded and dysfunctional immigration courts is to remove their authority over any alien other than a legal permanent resident. Only a legal permanent resident has any reason for an independent review of their claims under immigration law as by being admitted as legal permanent residents they do establish a colorable connection to the United States. All other illegal aliens have no legal connection to the United States. Those aliens, those who enter illegally or overstay a legal admission to the United States, should be removed administratively by expedited removal, the process by which DHS officers of the United States made a decision on whether the person before them is an alien and admissible or removable. Time to get most illegal aliens out of the immigration court system, as it is illegal aliens with no claims under law to legal permanent residency who clog up the immigration court system.