Department of Justice removes a favorable judge

Department of Justice removes a favorable judge from an immigration case and replaces him with a judge who deports the immigrant in absentia.

The Trump Administration continues its attack on immigrant’s rights. This time, the attack came upon immigrant’s basic procedural rights. In a Philadelphia immigration case, the court gave Respondent, Castro-Tum only a 2-week notice to appear in Court. Immigration attorney Mathew Archambeault, an activist, appeared before the Court on behalf of Castro-Tum who failed to show up.

Archambeault argued that requesting someone to appear in court in such short period of time violated the immigrant’s procedural rights. Such notices are usually sent via mail. Considering how fast our postal services work, it is possible the immigrant could have gotten the notice after the hearing date. The judge agreed with Archambeault and gave the immigrant additional time to appear.

Perhaps as a punitive measure, the Department of Justice removed the immigration judge from the case and replaced him with a judge from its headquarters, unprecedented measure by all means. The new judge deported the immigrant who again failed to appear.

The measure came two months after the Department of Justice took away immigration judges’ power to administratively close cases. Judges frequently used this remedy in cases where immigrants deserve favorable decision.

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