The DOJ is attempting to decertify the immigration judges’ union

Now that lawyers have argued about immigration judges belonging to the National Association of Immigration Judges union before the Federal Labor Relations Authority, the FLRA regional director in Washington will determine if the union should be decertified under the Federal Labor Relations Act.

Immigration Judges complain they are being forced to take on more cases and to decide them faster to end the backlog of roughly 900,000 cases.

The Department of Justice is attempting to decertify the Union claiming immigration judges are management officials and therefore prevented from being members of collective bargaining units, like unions.

Resident fellow in law and policy Andrew Arthur with Center for Immigration Studies said it's not the first attempt to decertify immigration judges' union. The Clinton administration unsuccessfully tried in 1999. But, since then immigration judges have been given more authority.

"To create the record, make findings a fact but are dispositive throughout, not just the administrative proceedings, but actually through the courts of appeals and all the way up to the Supreme Court," said Arthur.

"Those changes really have moved immigration judges into the position of management officials such that they are not entitled to be a member of a bargaining unit under the FLRA."

The union doesn't have an effect on immigration cases, but rather an immigration judge joining a union or being taken off the bench.

Depending on the decision, the union could take it to the FLRA, or DOJ can make an appeal.

Immigration judges decide who can stay in the country legally and who should be deported.


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