Los Angeles Times

Commentary: Trump administration turns judges into prosecutors in a judge's robe

In the immigration courts that Americans saw in news stories this summer, children were appearing alone at bewildering legal proceedings. But the nation's immigration courts - about 350 judges with monumental caseloads - handle all manner of immigration matters, including asylum cases and deportations. Their union has filed a labor grievance against their boss, the Justice Department, over a judge removed from his cases after he questioned whether the government's "come to court" notices were correct and reaching the people facing deportation.

Judge A. Ashley Tabaddor, speaking as president of the National Association of Immigration Judges, explains the group's rare step in making a labor grievance public. The unusual role and status of the nation's immigration courts just got a lot more unusual.

–– You are judges, but you are not part of the judiciary branch of the U.S. government. You work for the Department of Justice, in the executive branch.

That's probably one of the most misunderstood parts of our court system. Our immigration court system is situated within the Department of Justice, and we are all ultimately accountable to the U.S. attorney general, who appointed us to this position

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