FOIA Lawsuit Presses for Records on How Appellate Immigration Judges Are Hired

FOIA Lawsuit Presses for Records on How Appellate Immigration Judges Are Hired

AILA v. U.S. Department of Justice Office of Information Policy, Case 1:20-cv-00752, (DDC filed March 17, 2020)

STATUS:
Pending

The American Immigration Council filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit on behalf of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) seeking information about new hiring procedures for Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) judges. AILA filed its request amidst growing concerns that the BIA has instituted hiring practices that favor judges with a record of ruling against immigrants.  

Although Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) conducted a search resulting in responsive records, the Department of justice's Office of Information Policy (OIP) has delayed issuing them. The Council will now press for their release in court.

Given the crucial role that the BIA and its judges play in the immigration adjudicatory system, including the setting of precedent that can impact thousands of immigrants every year, the public has a right to know whether the fairness of these proceedings is compromised by politicized hiring.

Follow this case:

  • March 19, 2020
    The American Immigration Council and the American Immigration Lawyers Association filed a lawsuit Tuesday in federal court to compel the Department of Justice’s Office of Information Policy to release records about the Executive Office for Immigration Review’s hiring procedures for appellate immigration judges and Board of Immigration Appeals Members. The lawsuit seeks to understand current hiring procedures for the BIA—the highest administrative body for interpreting and applying immigration laws—after reports came to light of anti-immigrant bias in the hiring process.
  • May 4, 2020
    The American Immigration Lawyers Association and the American Immigration Council released documents obtained via Freedom of Information Act litigation revealing the Department of Justice Executive Office for Immigration Review’s updated hiring plan for immigration judges and appellate immigration judges.

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