Federal Appeals Court Rules Against Sanctuary Cities

    The Second Circuit Court of Appeals reversed a lower court's decision today that will allow the Trump Administration to withhold certain funds from jurisdictions that refuse to cooperate with Immigration and Customs Enforcement. The ruling allows the Justice Department to withhold Byrne JAG federal grants from hundreds of local governments across the country if they continue to protect criminal illegal aliens.

    The ruling is a significant victory for Pres. Trump and those who oppose sanctuary policies. The Court ruled that . . . Read more about Federal Appeals Court Rules Against Sanctuary Cities

Big! States can prosecute illegal aliens for identity theft

It’s hard to believe we needed a court case, that had to go to the Supreme Court, to allow state prosecution of illegal aliens who steal identities. But, we did.

The Supreme Court ruled on Tuesday that state governments can prosecute illegal aliens of identity theft, including aliens who use false Social Security numbers to unlawfully gain employment. . . Read more about Big! States can prosecute illegal aliens for identity theft

Liberty Headlines: Supreme Court OKs Denial of Green Cards for Those Likely to Need Gov’t Aid

(Liberty Headlines) The Supreme Court on Monday allowed the Trump administration to put in place a policy connecting the use of public benefits with whether immigrants could become permanent residents Read more about Liberty Headlines: Supreme Court OKs Denial of Green Cards for Those Likely to Need Gov’t Aid

Victory for American tech workers

WASHINGTON � Today, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals reversed a lower federal court ruling that displaced American tech workers lacked standing to challenge Department of Homeland Security (DHS) regulations authorizing alien employment in the United States.

In this case, the Immigration Reform Law Institute (IRLI) represents Save Jobs USA, which is made up of former employees of Southern California Edison. That public utility drew bipartisan criticism in Congress when it displaced 500 of its American employees after forcing them to train their cheaper foreign replacements.

As spelled out in federal law, the H-4 visa allows the spouses of H-1B guestworkers to “accompany” the alien to or “join” the alien in the United States. Under the Obama Administration, DHS added to the law governing the H-4 visa by allowing H-4 spouses to work in the United States. Since many of these foreign tech-workers’ spouses are tech workers themselves, Save Jobs USA filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia that challenged DHS’s authority to issue these work authorizations.

The district court held that Save Jobs USA lacked standing to bring the lawsuit because it did not suffer an injury from the employment of their H-1B competitors. Today, however, the D.C. Circuit, in reaffirming the “competitor standing doctrine,” held that Save Jobs USA did suffer injury from the regulation and had standing to sue.

The case will now return to the district court for a decision on whether DHS has the authority to permit H-4 spouses to work.

“The media has largely ignored the problem of DHS creating guestworker programs through regulation,” said John M. Miano, counsel for IRLI. “The Constitution gives Congress authority over the immigration system, but more labor now enters the U.S. job market through regulation than under laws passed by Congress.”

“The Save Jobs USA case has major implications for the immigration system,” said Dale L. Wilcox, executive director and general counsel of IRLI. “If the courts hold that DHS does have the authority it claims to permit alien employment through regulation, it can continue to wipe out the protections for American workers that Congress has enacted. We are pleased by the court’s decision on standing, and will press forward to get this unlawful foreign workers’ program overturned.”

The case is Save Jobs USA v. U.S. Department of Homeland Security, No. 16-5287 (D.C. Cir.). Read more about Victory for American tech workers

Why block the traditional Census citizenship question?

On the last day of its recent session, the U.S. Supreme Court voted 5 to 4 to block the traditional citizenship question from America's 2020 Constitutionally-required Census. While the court ruled the question is indeed constitutional, Chief Justice Roberts apparently did not like the "tone" of the Trump administration's insistence the traditional citizenship question be reinstated.

Our government has demographic information on legal immigrants and visa holders. The Census citizenship question would provide demographic information on those who are not citizens.

If the citizenship question were to be asked, then it would be a rudimentary process to subtract the set of legal immigrants and visa holders from the set of those who are not citizens. The result would be the set of those who are illegal aliens, complete with address of residence.

This is the information that the Democrat party does not want revealed, as they benefit from a mass influx of illegal aliens - and their descendants - who ultimately will vote Democrat.

Excerpts from articles analyzing this decision follow:


Supreme Court Votes 5-4 To Block Citizenship Question on 2020 Census, by Ken Klukowski, Breitbart, June 27, 2019:

Chief Justice John Roberts was the swing vote in a sharply divided Supreme Court that voted 5-4 in deciding the U.S. census can ask about citizenship, but by a separate 5-4 vote is sending the case back to the lower court.

Consequently, the citizenship question cannot be asked on the 2020 census, because the additional hearing cannot take place before the cutoff for printing the census forms for next year.

This decision will immediately be compared to the 2012 decision saving Obamacare. Roberts was joined by the four conservative justices to say federal law permits asking about citizenship, but then switched over to join with the four liberal justices to remand the case to the federal trial court for further evidentiary hearings....

Roberts noted “demographic questions have been asked in every census since 1790, and questions about citizenship in particular have been asked for nearly as long.”...

Conservatives and the Trump administration will be deeply disappointed by this decision, and are likely to harshly criticize the chief justice....

The impact of today’s decision reaches far beyond the 2020 census. Justice Thomas concluded in his dissenting opinion for conservative justices:

The Court’s erroneous decision in this case is bad enough, as it unjustifiably interferes with the 2020 census. But the implications of today’s decision are broader. With today’s decision, the Court has opened a Pandora’s box of pretext-based challenges in administrative law.

Today’s decision marks the first time the Court has ever invalidated an agency action as “pretextual.” Having taken that step, one thing is certain: This will not be the last time it is asked to do so. Virtually every significant agency action is vulnerable to the kinds of allegations the Court credits today. These decisions regularly involve coordination with numerous stakeholders and agencies, involvement at the highest levels of the Executive Branch, opposition from reluctant agency staff, and—perhaps most importantly—persons who stand to gain from the action’s demise. Opponents of future executive actions can be expected to make full use of the Court’s new approach.


SCOTUS sides with Trump on constitutionality of census citizenship question, but the question is still unlikely to appear on 2020 forms due to remand, Conservative Review, June 27, 2019:

In a complicated 5-4 ruling handed down on its last day of its recent session, the Supreme Court ruled that the Trump administration’s addition of a citizenship question to the census complied with the constitution, but also effectively blocked its implementation for the 2020 survey.

In short, the ruling finds that the executive branch has a right to reinstate a question about citizenship, but that it needs to come up with a better explanation for adding it....


Upshot of today’s SCOTUS rulings: Courts are God except for one ‘rare circumstance’, by Daniel Horowitz, Conservative Review, June 27, 2019:

Today’s Supreme Court ruling in the gerrymandering cases was a victory for those who believe in the proper role of courts, irrespective of political outcome. It’s a refreshing change of pace from judicial supremacy. Unfortunately, what the chief justice giveth in the redistricting case, he taketh in the census citizenship case where he reaffirmed the power of the courts to get involved in every other political question and litigate it to death....

in the census case, while recognizing that “our interpretation of the Constitution is guided by a Government practice [asking a citizenship question] that “has been open, widespread, and un-challenged since the early days of the Republic,” he refuses to reverse the lower court’s interference with its enactment.

In a complex and defragmented plurality ruling that morphed into a unanimous order, Chief Justice Roberts helped give liberals a majority in keeping the litigation against the census question alive by remanding the case back to the courts. Meanwhile, rather than rebuking the lower courts for getting involved in a political dispute in such an unprecedented way, he legitimized much of their ruling. Moreover, with this ruling, he gave them endless ammo to shut down any common sense and lawful executive actions governing the enforcement of many critical laws, which will reverberate in other spheres of policy such as border security.

The 2010 Census under the Obama administration was the first time since 1840 that the citizenship question was not asked in any form. The same way Obama decided to extirpate it from the Census without question, Trump had the power to reinstate it....

In comes Roberts and admits that nothing in the Constitution or statute could possibly preclude the secretary of commerce from adding the citizenship question. But in what has become a pernicious pattern of the courts over the past few years, Roberts decided that he didn’t like the administration’s motivation behind it and feels it requires further litigation in the district court. He didn’t even agree with the plaintiffs that the administration violated the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) by promulgating a regulation that is “arbitrary and capricious,” another favorite of the lower courts....

In reality, 13 U.S.C. §221 states very clearly that every resident is required to answer any question under penalty of fine unless it’s a question about religion. That is the only question walled off by Congress....

The Trump administration lawyers are going to have to come to terms with defending the prerogatives of the executive branch of government or risking the implementation of Obama’s third, and perhaps, fourth term in office....


Why the Citizenship Question Is So Important, Kris W. Kobach, Breitbart, June 27, 2019:

... From 1820 to 2000 a version of the citizenship question was asked in every census but one (in 1840). After the 1950 census, the Census Bureau decided to create two census forms—a short, basic form that all households would receive and a long form (which about 1/6 to 1/4 of households would receive) that would ask all of the information that the federal government needed. Thereafter, the citizenship question remained on the long form until the long form was terminated after the 2000 census. At that point the long form was replaced by the annual American Community Survey, which still contains the citizenship question. But only a tiny percentage of the population receives it.

The Trump Administration in early 2018 made the entirely-correct decision to restore the citizenship question to the census....

In a rational world, the Court would have issued a 9-0 decision rejecting each of these arguments. Instead, the Court ruled by a narrow 5-4 vote that asking the citizenship question was consistent with both the Constitution and the Census Act....

There are so many additional reasons for the United States to know how many citizens it has, that it is difficult to select any single one as the most important. Here’s my list:

1. The number of citizens is something that every sovereign country should know. Canada, Mexico, France, Germany, the United Kingdom, and dozens of other modern countries ask the question....

2. The principle of one person, one vote is at stake. Right now, state and federal legislative districts are drawn up simply based on the number of warm bodies in each district. Not only are legal aliens counted, but illegal aliens are counted too. As a result, citizens in a district with lots of illegal aliens have more voting power than citizens in districts with few illegal aliens.

3. The assumption behind moving the citizenship question to the long form turned out to be wrong. It was hoped in the 1950s that a recent federal statute requiring all aliens to register and notify the federal government whenever they moved would be followed and enforced. That data could be substituted for the information lost by moving the citizenship question to the long form. However, the assumption turned out to be incorrect....

4. The citizenship question provides important information about voting. Knowing who is a citizen and who isn’t allows the government to make a more accurate determination of what percentage of eligible citizens are voting in each state and each county.

5. It yields a wealth of valuable information about immigration. The question allows the government to determine which regions of the country see greater naturalization rates among aliens. This in turn reflects the assimilation of aliens into the American community. Citizenship data also enables the government to better calculate the number of illegal aliens in the country. Right now, estimates range from 11 million to 30 million. The open-borders Left doesn’t want the American people to know the true number.

And the list goes on....


SCOTUS Loses Its Census over Citizenship, by Daniel John Sobieski, American Thinker, June 28, 2019:

Supreme Court Justice John Roberts may go down in judicial history as the worst Republican SCOTUS pick ever. The man who found ObamaCare constitutional by inventing the fiction that it was a tax has joined the court’s four liberals to block a citizenship question on the 2020 Census, not because it is unconstitutional, but rather because he didn’t like the Trump administration’s reasons for asking for it.

The man who supervises the FISA Court, which blindly accepted every lie and fake document the Obama FBI and DoJ put before it to justify the deep state coup against the Trump presidency, says the reasons Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross presented for requesting its inclusion, well, didn’t smell right....

Asking this question is necessary to the functioning of a modern state and is an international norm, not the wet dream of white supremacists. As Hans von Spankovsky writes in the Washington Examiner:

To have an informed debate, shouldn’t we have accurate information about the citizen/noncitizen population of the country? In fact, even the United Nations recommends that its member countries ask a citizenship question on their census surveys, and countries ranging from Australia to Germany to Indonesia all ask this question. Only in the U.S. is this considered at all

Restoring the citizenship question to the Census is not unprecedented, not unconstitutional and absolutely necessary to help restore our national identity watered down by the “we are the world” globalists and denounced by the 2020 Democrats who want to decriminalize illegal border crossing and throw the borders open....

Gagging judges endangers Oregonians

from the office of
Wed., June 12, 2019
Jonathan Lockwood
Gagging judges endangers Oregonians
SALEM, Ore.—Oregon Democrats are gagging judges through a speech control measure that will prohibit courts from knowing or inquiring about an alleged criminals’ immigration status. 
House Bill 2932 was passed in the Senate on a party-line vote. In Oregon, there are 913 illegal immigrants in the penal system currently; of which 132 are convicted of homicide and 458 on sex-offenses. This bill protects these offenders from the sum of all of their crimes by preventing the court from taking their immigration status into consideration, which could lead to the offender’s lawful removal from the country. 
HB 2932 disrupts the balance of the criminal justice system by allowing the legislature to assert their power over the courts and prevents justice from being had.
State Sen. Kim Thatcher, R-Keizer, released the following statement:
“Gagging judges endangers Oregonians’ lives and puts criminal aliens above the rule of law. We need to sound the alarm for our constituents on this issue because it threatens all Oregonians—including the immigrant community. House Bill 2932 shields illegal immigrants whom were charged and/or convicted of felony offenses from the full consequences of their actions by completely restricting the court's power to inquire about the citizenship status of the defendant. We are watching a litany of bills fly through the Legislature with little to no debate. We should be putting people ahead of politics. We need people to call on Gov. Kate Brown to NOT sign this bill into law--it will endanger Oregonians.”
For follow-up commentary contact Thatcher spokesperson Jonathan Lockwood at 971-645-2099.

  Read more about Gagging judges endangers Oregonians

Pres. Trump tells it like it is

In an interview last Sunday, April 28, President Trump describes the crisis at the border in plain terms.  His colorful language is well-suited to getting the meanings across without cover of diplomacy.

From a Fox News report:


President Trump told “Sunday Morning Future”’ that illegal immigrants are pouring into the country at unprecedented rates “because our economy is so good’’ and ‘‘everyone wants a piece of it’" -- and, he asserted, Democrats have now provided major incentives for illegal immigrants to bring children with them as a legal shield.

‘’You have to have Perry Mason involved” in order to fight some immigration challenges and enforce border security, Trump said, alluding to the backlog of immigration cases and a recent Ninth Circuit ruling requiring that asylum applicants be allowed to go before a federal judge.

"We’re moving people out so fast," he added. "The problem is we have to register them, we have to bring them to court.  Another country just says sorry, you can’t come into our country and they walk them out.  In our country you have to bring them to court, you have to have Perry Mason involved, I mean, you know, it’s all legal.  You have lawyers standing at the border, our people, lawyers, wise guys standing at the border, signing people up."

Trump continued: "Every time they catch a cold they try and blame Border Patrol.  It’s a disgrace what’s going on, and it could be solved in 15 minutes if the Democrats would give us the votes, it would be over."

"What we need is new laws that don’t allow this so when somebody comes in we say sorry, you got to go out.  . ... We have a court system with 900,000 cases behind it. They have a court that needs to hear 900,000 cases," Trump said, referring to overloaded immigration and asylum courts. "It's a system Congress can fix -- and they don't get off their ass."

Trump called the situation at the border like "Disneyland" now that purported family units cannot be separated for sustained periods. Under the administration's "no-tolerance policy," adults who crossed the border with children were charged with illegal entry into the U.S. -- and, shortly afterwards, had to be separated from minors in their group under the Flores decree.

"We -- we go out and we stop the separation," Trump said. "The problem is you have 10 times more people coming up with their families.  It’s like Disneyland now.  You know, before you’d get separated so people would say let’s not go up.  Now you don’t get separated and, you know, while that sounds nice and all, what happens is you have -- literally you have 10 times more families coming up because they’re not going to be separated from their children."

Read the complete news report here.


You can send comments to the President here.

To your U.S. Representative here.

And to your U.S. Senators here. Read more about Pres. Trump tells it like it is

Courthouses as Sanctuaries?

There are over 300 jurisdictions today that obstruct cooperation with federal immigration efforts, by enacting laws or policies prohibiting police agencies from honoring immigration detainers or providing Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents with the information needed to identify and apprehend alien criminals.

One of those sanctuaries is Multnomah County, Ore., in which an activist open-borders mentality apparently percolates through all three branches of government.

The county sheriff was recently interviewed after his office released a convicted sex offender rather than tender the alien to ICE on the detainer it had filed — a routine occurrence in that sheriff's office. The sheriff defended his decision by claiming the office couldn't afford to expend resources "toward immigration enforcement". I'm hard pressed to figure out exactly what resources are needed to simply hand an alien criminal over to ICE, or how the community's safety is better served by that choice.

But the sheriff's actions pale in comparison to those of Multnomah County judge Monica Herranz, who is "under internal investigation" after it's alleged that she helped an illegal alien escape from her courtroom rather than end up in the hands of waiting ICE agents. She apparently escorted him through back corridors available only to court employees and on to freedom. This happened in late February. ICE agents brought it to the attention of the U.S. Attorney's Office, whose chief, Billy Williams, an Obama administration appointee, apparently then simply took the complaint back to the Multnomah County judiciary for said "internal investigation" rather than do his job by convening a grand jury to begin the process of indicting and prosecuting Judge Herranz for harboring and shielding from detection an alien illegally in the United States — a federal felony (see 8 U.S.C. Sec. 1324(a)(1)(A)(iii)).

It's been more than a month now and there is little reason to think that the matter is being handled in any way other than sweeping it under the rug. I'm presuming that Williams was one of those Obama holdovers whose resignation was recently requested by new Attorney General Jeff Sessions. (I hope so.) Perhaps it's time for someone under Sessions' leadership at the Department of Justice (DOJ) to revisit the patently obvious shuffling-off of this outrageous and prosecutable offense, and to direct the U.S. Attorney's Office to do its job.

But following on the heels of this judge's disgraceful and illegal conduct — assuming it to be true, and all indications are that it is — how has the judiciary generally reacted?

Rather than express outrage at the conduct, or speak in a measured way about the proper role of the judiciary, California's chief justice weighed in to blast renewed federal immigration enforcement efforts under the new administration, and called ICE presence at courthouses an assault against the rule of law.

Washington State's chief justice also got involved and wrote to John Kelly, secretary of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), to urge him to direct ICE agents to stay away from courthouses by declaring them to be "sensitive locations".

Since then, both DOJ and DHS have rejected the suggestion that courthouses should be put off limits, and they're right to have done so. Think about the whole thing for a moment: officers of the law being told that courthouses, those bastions of the law, are out of bounds? How logical is that?

At any rate, judges need to accept the reality that ICE agents are at those courthouses because it is one of the few avenues available to them to take alien criminals into custody when it becomes evident that the police or sheriff's office refuse to cooperate. It would be in everyone's best interest that custody transfers take place in a secure location like a county jail — but when that opportunity is by denied to them by foolish and misplaced sanctuary policies, ICE agents go where they must to do their jobs.

Of course, following the declination of DHS and DOJ to pursue such a course, along comes a member of Congress to file a bill attempting to force the matter through enactment of a law. Rep. Suzanne Bonamici, from Oregon (no surprise), has joined with several other Democratic colleagues to introduce the "Protecting Sensitive Locations Act".

This is typical. If Democrats had their way, they would simply legislate away the ability of ICE agents to do their jobs by making the "sensitive locations" list so large and cumbersome that nothing would be left.

It's already been made hard enough in the past eight years through a horrendous admixture of former White House policy, and activist judicial decisions:

Worksites? Nope, pretty much off the table. Why actually do enforcement operations to remove aliens working illegally at various employer sites? Just make the pretense through occasional paperwork audits.

Homes? Heaven forbid! What kind of country is this, you jackbooted minions of the law?

Colleges or universities? How dare you intrude on this sacred institution of learning? Our students need their safe spaces.

Jails, prisons, sheriff's offices, or police booking stations? Absolutely not. How dare you try to "commandeer" our resources by asking for information or trying to take custody of an alien on our premises?

You get the idea.

But to go back to the matter of the judiciary: When asked during his confirmation hearings, newly invested Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch was asked about tweets from the president lambasting the judiciary, which he dutifully lamented in his gentlemanly way, saying among other things, "I find that disheartening and I find that demoralizing."

My own take is that the current atmosphere of disrespect for the judiciary — by the public as well as the president — is in large measure a self-inflicted wound.

The question in many minds is: Why, exactly, do we support an institution, at least at the federal level, in which individuals are given lifetime sinecures for jobs in which they themselves are the only ones who hold the power to decide the limit of their power? This leads ultimately to an unbridled lack of restraint and the inevitable taint of politicization into the third branch of government, the only one of the three intended specifically to avoid that taint.

Perhaps it is time we in America undertook a reformation to see them systemically defrocked of such unlimited lifetime power. After all, the only members of the federal judiciary for whom this appears to be a constitutional requirement (and the language even there is not straightforward) are members of the Supreme Court. Legislative change would suffice for all of the rest.

I am not the first to make such a suggestion, nor to observe that lifetime appointments have not served to preclude politicization of the judiciary. If judges have come to see themselves as demigods, it is our own fault, for we have allowed them to invest themselves with those qualities. A judge who had to consider his future might be more prudent in the present.

  Read more about Courthouses as Sanctuaries?

Oregon judge accused of helping illegal immigrant escape under investigation

An Oregon judge is being investigated for allegedly helping an illegal immigrant evade Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents in January, by letting the DWI suspect slip out through her own private entrance.

The Jan. 27 incident could land Judge Monica Herranz in serious trouble if she is shown to have helped Diddier Pacheco, 22, escape her Multnomah County courtroom as federal agents waited outside to deport him.

“This individual was allowed to leave that courtroom through a doorway that is not a public doorway, and which ultimately led to his ability to leave the courthouse undetected by ICE,” said U.S. Attorney Billy Williams.

“I found my client, told him that I’d seen ICE agents outside, that I had no way to know if they were there for him or not, but it was possible.”

- John Schlosser, attorney for Diddier Pacheco

Herranz is now under internal investigation by the Multnomah County Court Administration. She is cooperating with the probe, which is expected to be completed within a week.

The options for how Pacheco exited Herranz’ courtroom are limited, as there are only three doors. One is used by the Sheriff’s Department to bring inmates in and out. Another is used by the public and the last for the judge and courtroom staff to get back to their offices. It also leads to a staircase which goes to a first floor exit.

Pacheco’s attorney John Schlosser says he doesn’t know how his client left the courtroom. But he acknowledged both knew there were ICE agents inside the courthouse who might be there to arrest Pacheco.  He had passed several agents on his way into the courtroom.

“I found my client, told him that I’d seen ICE agents outside, that I had no way to know if they were there for him or not, but it was possible,” said Schlosser.

Federal law makes it a crime to “conceal, harbor or shield from detection” illegal immigrants. The U.S. Attorney in Portland decided not to prosecute after ICE officials told him they were opposed to an investigation of the judge. Instead, Williams met with most of the judges in the county and made it clear similar actions in the future would not be tolerated.

Herranz, a board member of the Oregon Hispanic Bar Association, is still working in the Multnomah County courts, but she could face internal discipline once the investigation is finished.

“I don’t want anything that in the eyes of the public undermines the integrity and the neutrality of the justice system being done,” said Presiding Judge Nan Waller.

Lars Larson, a nationally syndicated conservative talk show host based in Portland thinks Herranz should be finished on the bench and even lose her license to practice law.

“I think the judge broke the law,” said Larson, “I think as a lawyer, her ticket should probably be punched. I think she helped a criminal escape.”

Herranz declined a request by Fox News for a comment. Pacheco was caught by ICE agents outside the same courthouse two weeks later following another hearing. He’s been taken to an ICE detention facility in New Mexico where he’s awaiting deportation. Read more about Oregon judge accused of helping illegal immigrant escape under investigation

How Attorney General Jeff Sessions could make it easier to deport immigrants

The Department of Justice hired 59 immigration judges in 2016.

There are more immigration judges now – 296 – than at any point in the agency’s history. Given the 500,000-case backlog in the immigration court system, that current hiring spree is not expected to change.

But something that is expected to change is the person who decides who future immigration judges will be. Immigration judges are employees of the Department of Justice and, as head of that agency, the incoming attorney general will have a say in who is hired.

“Whoever is ultimately confirmed to head the Department of Justice is hugely significant,” said Cesar Cuauhtemoc Garcia Hernandez, law professor at the University of Denver who runs a website that follows developments in immigration law and detainment policies.

For attorney general, President-Elect Donald Trump plans to nominate Jeff Sessions, a Republican Senator from Alabama who has made a name for himself as one of the most anti-immigrant voices in Washington.

The National Review, a conservative news magazine, credited Sessions with single-handedly destroying immigration reform attempts in 2004 and 2014. He is strongly opposed to illegal immigration and is also in favor of limiting legal immigration because he believes it harms domestic workers.

Sessions, or whoever the head of the Department of Justice is, can hire judges who will decide deportation, asylum and all immigration cases over the next four years.

During 2016's hiring spree, immigration judges were hired at courts throughout the country. However, since January 2015, the court in Imperial County has not had a sitting judge. It is the only immigration court in the country to have a vacant bench.

The case backlog in Imperial County is so large that hearings are being scheduled for 2019 and 2020.

Julio Cesar Mendez, 42, has been fighting a deportation case in Imperial County since 2009.

“I’ve been waiting all those years,” he said. “It is very difficult, very stressful and frustrating. I don’t have a criminal charge.”

Mendez hasn’t had a court hearing since 2009. His next hearing is currently scheduled for Dec. 2017 but Mendez suspects that it will get pushed back.

While he waits, Mendez can stay in the country and pay $600 each year to apply for an annual work permit. He would like to buy a house, but the bank wants him to pay 30 percent upfront because of his status, which he cannot afford from the money he makes installing and repairing air conditioning units.

Mendez, who has one son at UCLA and another in high school who has been accepted to California State University, Fullerton, has thought of trying to move the case to immigration courts in San Diego or Los Angeles, but the motion costs $1,000 to file and there is no guarantee a judge will grant it.

Sessions could push current immigration judges, who do not share his politics, into early retirement by transferring them to undesirable locations like the Imperial courthouse.

“Short of firing, life can be made difficult or unpleasant for employees,” Garcia Hernandez said. “Superiors can increase workloads or transfer them to unattractive locations. These are highly qualified professionals with deep ties to a particular community so the prospect of being transferred may be enough for them to say, 'You know what, I might just do something else.'”

There is precedent for attorney generals pushing people out of the Department of Justice.

In 2003, then-Attorney General John Ashcroft asked five members of the Board of Immigration Appeals – a panel that reviews the decisions of immigration judges – to find new jobs. Critics saw it as a purge of their most pro-immigration members while the Department of Justice defended the move as a way to streamline the appeals process, according to media reports at the time.

If confirmed by Congress, Sessions will play a key role in realizing Trump’s campaign promises of deporting millions of immigrants and securing the U.S. borders.

As attorney general, he would not only be in charge of who he hires but also how immigration judges are trained. One way he could influence what kind of judges are hired is by prioritizing those with previous experience as prosecutors for the Department of Homeland Security who work deportation cases, Garcia Hernandez said.

“Immigration judges are employees of the justice department,” Garcia Hernandez said. “Just like any other employee of the Justice Department, they answer to the AG.” Read more about How Attorney General Jeff Sessions could make it easier to deport immigrants


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