14 February 2006

Immigration Courts Pervasively Disrespectful

They include a case in which a Newark immigration judge fell asleep during an asylum hearing for a woman from Colombia; in another, a Newark immigration judge was reprimanded by a federal appeals court for derisive statements made during an asylum hearing for a Chinese man.

Similar cases have been documented in courts across the country.

They include a Philadelphia judge reprimanded by an appeals court for verbally abusing a woman from Ghana who had been enslaved and raped by her father as part of a sex cult. And a Boston immigration judge was suspended last year for making jokes about Tarzan during an asylum hearing regarding a woman from Uganda named Jane.

In September, the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals issued a decision describing a "disturbing pattern of immigration judge misconduct" that continues despite repeated warnings from appellate courts around the nation.

From here. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales is looking into the problem, with a detailed review of each of the 212 immigration judges and 11 immigration appeals judges in the system. Don't hold your breath on decisive action, however.

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