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Sources: Garland Appoints New Chief Immigration Judge

April 20, 2023 (2 min read)

The Hon. Paul Wickham Schmidt reports:

"Sources report that A.G. Merrick Garland has appointed Judge Sheila McNulty to be the Chief Immigration Judge at EOIR. Previously, she was the Regional Deputy Chief Immigration Judge. 

The position had been vacant since the resignation of the previous Chief Immigration Judge, Tracy Short, in July 2022. Unlike Short, who came from ICE with no prior judicial experience, Chief Judge McNulty has been an Immigration Judge since 2010. For the last reported period that she was an Immigration Judge at the Chicago Immigration Court, 2014 -2015, Judge McNulty granted 52.3% of asylum cases, according to TRAC. She became an Assistant Chief Immigration Judge in 2015, and was promoted to Regional Deputy Chief Immigration Judge in 2021.

Her official EOIR bio is below.

Sheila McNulty
Regional Deputy Chief Immigration Judge [Now Chief Immigration Judge]

Sheila McNulty was appointed as Regional Deputy Chief Immigration Judge in March 2021. Judge McNulty received a Bachelor of Arts in 1984 from Miami University of Ohio and a Juris Doctor in 1991 from New England School of Law. From November 2015 to March 2021, she served as an Assistant Chief Immigration Judge, and during this time, from February 2020 to March 2021, she also served as Acting Deputy Chief Immigration Judge for the West. From October 2010 to November of 2015, she served as an Immigration Judge at the Chicago Immigration Court. From 2000 to 2010, Judge McNulty served as a Special Assistant U.S. Attorney with the former Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, in the Chicago Office of the U.S Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Illinois. From 1991 to 2000, she served as a trial attorney for the former INS, entering on duty through the Attorney General’s Honors Program. From 1985 until 1988, Judge McNulty worked as a community activist and organizer in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Judge McNulty is a member of the Illinois Bar.

Congratulations and good luck to Chief Judge McNulty in her new leadership role. The Immigration Judge program needs help — lots of it! 

Anti-asylum attitudes among some judges, wildly inconsistent decisions, “asylum free zones,” poor training, unprofessional conduct, lack of expertise, little quality control, emphasis on “productivity over due process,” inadequate law clerk support, over-reliance on oral decisions, debilitating backlogs, shortage of courtrooms and chambers, unreliable technology, “Aimless Docket Reshuffling” to meet the agenda of DOJ politicos, poor relations with the bar, lack of a due process vision, and cratering morale are among the many existential problems facing the new Chief Judge!

Due Process Forever!"