Trump Tries to Bust Up Immigration Judges’ Union

In the latest attempt by the Trump Administration to fix the failed immigration system, multiple news outlets are reporting that the Justice Department is seeking to de-certify the Union representing hundreds of U.S. Immigration Judges.

Recently, the Administration posed a question to the National Labor Relations Board asking if The National Association of Immigration Judges can legitimately represent the judges given that bargaining unit members are actually in management positions by statute.

Judge Ashley Tabbador, the President of the Union, is criticizing  the Justice Department action saying that it is trying to “undermine the decisional independence of the 440 Immigration Judges throughout the country. “ She further explained that the judges simply hear immigration cases and decide them based on facts and immigration law, they do not oversee staff and they don’t make policy.

The Union is also taking exception to a quota system the Justice Department has established concerning the number of hearings Immigration Judges need to conduct in order the get through the backlog of more than 900,000 pending cases currently in the system.

One unidentified judge spoke out saying that the number of judges needs to be increased and that this was a blatant attempt by the Administration to rush cases through the system in order to facilitate deportations.Another Union member reiterated Judge Tabbador’s insistence that the judges are not managers saying sarcastically, “we don’t even have the authority to order pencils.”

The fact that there even is a labor union for judges may come as a surprise to many people, as will the fact that President Clinton’s Justice Department also moved to de-certify the Judges’ Union.  The Federal Labor Relations Authority rejected that plan.