A recent move by the U.S. Justice Department has resulted in the filing of a labor grievance against the agency by the union representing immigration judges in this country. Judge Steven Morley was removed from a Philadelphia immigration case after he granted a continuance intended to ensure that the defendant had been properly notified that he was to appear in court. The judge appointed to replace Morley promptly ordered the defendant to be deported without any further inquiry into the matter, raising concerns that judges who do not rule immediately in accordance with the wishes of Attorney-General Jeff Sessions and the Justice Department may be summarily dismissed by this government agency. Approximately 60 more immigration cases have been removed from Morley’s calendar by the Justice Department after the initial removal.
The Castro-Tum Case
Reynaldo Castro-Tum arrived in the U.S. at the age of 17 from Guatemala. He was summoned to appear before the court but could not be located. In 2016, Judge Morley closed the case on a temporary basis and ordered the Justice Department to determine Castro-Tum’s whereabouts to ensure that the notices to appear were reaching him. To date, the Justice Department has still not tracked down Castro-Tum.
Outrage on the Part of Immigration Judges and Advocates
The National Association of Immigration Judges has filed a labor grievance related to Morley’s removal from the case and the subsequent removal of cases from his upcoming calendar. The president of the organization, Ashley Tabaddor, called the actions by the Justice Department “direct interference with a judge’s decisional independence.” The grievance requests the immediate return of Morley’s caseload and a written statement that prevents case assignments or reassignments that interfere with the authority of sitting judges.
The Best Defense
For most immigrants in our area, working with a skilled and experienced New York immigration lawyer is a solid first step toward resolving issues with the Justice Department, Immigration and Customs Enforcement and other agencies. The representation provided by your New York immigration lawyer can help you apply for a green card, resolve issues with visa overstays and put you on the right path for citizenship.
At Pozo Goldstein, we can help you find the right New York immigration lawyer for your specific set of needs. With two former attorneys for the prosecution in the immigration field and a former judge on our team, we can deliver the right solutions for you and your family. Call us today at 212-201-9031 to schedule a free in-office consultation with us. We look forward to the chance to serve you.