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Immigration Law

DOJ Tries to Silence the Voice of the Immigration Judges - Again!

Judge Amiena Khan and Judge Dorothy Harbeck, The Federal Lawyer, March/April 2020

"In August 2019, the Department of Justice (DOJ), in a veiled attempt to silence the voice of the immigration judges (IJs), filed a petition with the Federal Labor Relations Authority (FLRA) to decertify the National Association of Immigration Judges (NAIJ). The NAIJ — originally certified in 1979 as the recognized representative for collective bargaining for all U.S. IJs — is a voluntary association that represents and speaks for the interests of the nation’s 440 IJs. The NAIJ was formed with the objectives of promoting independence and enhancing the professionalism, dignity, and efficiency of the immigration courts. DOJ asserts that IJs should be reclassified as “management officials.” This would mean IJs could no longer unionize, be part of a collective bargaining unit, or speak independently."