Making the swamp even swampier

“The hiring plan documents show shortened hiring timelines and suggest preference given to judges with records of rulings against immigrants. The documents also demonstrate the influence held over the board by the political leadership of the Executive Office for Immigration Review, the Justice Department agency that oversees the nation’s immigration court system, particularly its director, James McHenry. …

“The current hiring process appears to chip away at the role career employees play in that process, and instead amplifies that of the EOIR director and other political appointees, according to Lynch and some other experts who reviewed the changes.”

New DOJ documents show shortened hiring timelines and suggest preference given to judges with records of rulings against immigrants.

Due process? We don’t need no stinking due processs!

“A plan to turn back all migrants seeking asylum would have its most immediate effect on the US-Mexico border. It has run into opposition from several government agencies, in part because of concerns that it would violate US and international law, including treaties on how to deal with refugees and victims of torture.

“Officials are working on a plan to deny entry to all asylum seekers, according to multiple sources. That may include a plan to return all illegal border crossers without due process.”

The administration is pushing to use the coronavirus pandemic to accomplish some of the tough immigration restrictions that hardliners have struggled to put into practice since President Donald Trump took office, including blocking entry to asylum seekers, according to US officials briefed on the plans.

Trump’s immigration success

It’s notorious that bureaucracies are hard to change from the top down.

He’ll sit here, and he’ll say, ‛Do this! Do that!’  *And nothing will
happen.*  Poor Ike—it won’t be a bit like the Army. He’ll find it
very frustrating.  — Harry S Truman

But Donald Trump has pretty much done that. He’s really in practice
cutting back immigration to just those people that the US allows in, and
cutting back which people the US allows in … all without getting
Congress to change the laws.

One of the more amazing bits is the shutting of the asylum pipeline that
people from Central America were using. For a while there, about
100,000 people a month were arriving from Central America and claiming
asylum, and due to the details of US immigration law, were “caught and
released” into the US. That was a significant fraction of the workers
coming into the US labor market. Needless to say, it caused apoplexy in
Trump supporters.

I’ll note here that I don’t know the details of asylum law, but given
the general violence in Central America, I wouldn’t be surprised if all
of these people qualified for asylum. What I would be surprised is if
this is different now than from any of the last 100 years.

But despite what one would think possible, Trump has managed to shut
this pathway off. I’d be interested in reading a clear discussion of
exactly how this was managed.

Appeals court spanks BIA, Justice Dept.

A wonderful opinion. Here is Bloomberg’s piece and here is the opinion itself.

Some nice quotes: “What happened next beggars belief. The Board of Immigration Appeals wrote, on the basis of a footnote in a letter the Attorney General issued after our opinion, that our decision is incorrect. …

“We have never before encountered defiance of a remand order,and we hope never to see it again. Members of the Board must count themselves lucky that Baez-Sanchez has not asked us to hold them in contempt, with all the consequences that possibility entails.

“The Board seemed to think that we had issued anadvisory opinion, and that faced with a conflict between our views and those of the Attorney General it should follow the latter. Yet it should not be necessary to remind the Board, all of whose members are lawyers, that the ‘judicial Power’ under Article III of the Constitution is one to make conclusive decisions, not subject to disapproval or revision by another branch of government.”