The first thing you need to know about immigration judges is that they're not real judges, as in members of the Judicial Branch, but employees of the Executive Branch, in the Executive Office For Immigration Review (EOIR). They have a labor union. While their activities are quasi-judicial, they function more like a parole board. That's because, like the parole board, everyone they deal with has already been found guilty.
This NYT story below actually says most of that, but obfuscates it—and ends with a throwaway lie about VDARE.com.
Top Immigration Judge Departs Amid Broader Discontent Over Trump Policies, by Katie Benner, September 13, 2019
The nation’s immigration judges lost a key leader this week, the latest in a string of departures at the top of the system amid a backlog of cases and a migrant crisis at the southwestern border.
The official, David Neal, said that he would retire from his position as head of the judges’ appeals board effective Saturday. “With a heavy heart, I have decided to retire from government service,” Mr. Neal wrote in a letter sent to the board Thursday and obtained by The New York Times...
Mr. Neal’s decision follows a shake-up at the Executive Office for Immigration Review, the court system that adjudicates the country’s immigration cases, including asylum cases. It is part of the Justice Department, not the judicial branch. [More, Emphases added throughout.]
You have to have been already shown to be deportable, or be an asylum seeker, to be in front of an immigration "judge," and their job is to reprieve deserving cases, if any, while protecting the United States. They don't see it that way, though.
…a vocal group of immigration judges — part of the larger total of about 400 judges and appeals judges — have been at loggerheads with the Trump administration for more than a year.
Leaders of the judges’ union have pushed back against the imposition of quotas that they have said would expedite deportations at the expense of due process. Under former Attorney General Jeff Sessions, they accused the Justice Department of trying to turn the immigration courts into a deportation machine.
Which is what it should be, of course.
Mr. Sessions treated the judges “like immigration officers, not judges,” said Paul Schmidt, a former judge in the immigration courts.
That, of course, is what they are. They're not judges. But they don't get it.
Some judges have also bristled at a recent Justice Department decision that handed over the power to rule on appeals cases to the director of the office, a political appointee. The judges saw the move as an attempt to undermine their authority.
That decision also directly impacted Mr. Neal, demoting him “in practice,” by transferring his authority to decide appeals cases to the director of the office, said Ashley Tabbador, [Sic: It's Tabaddor, one b, two d's.] the president of the union that represents immigration judges.
“This regulation upends the entire system created to decide these cases,” Ms. Tabbador said. Should the new system run into problems, “the chairman would have been held accountable. I would have quit, too, if I were in David’s position.”
Though they are part of the Justice Department, many immigration judges view themselves as independent arbiters of the law and believe they must act within the confines of existing immigration statutes.
They need to stop viewing themselves that way, and as for acting within the confines of the law, that's what they're not doing.
They have long deliberated over whether they should be part of the Justice Department — a debate that has intensified under President Trump.
The thing is, being Executive Branch employees, rather than real Judges, they don't get to "deliberate" over what department they're in. Congress does that.
Last month, tensions increased when a daily briefing that is distributed to federal immigration judges contained a link to a blog post that included an anti-Semitic reference and came from a website that regularly publishes white nationalists.
After the episode, the immigration review office said that it would stop sending the daily briefing and would not renew its contract with the service that provided it.
And that link in the paragraph above to the original NYT story about the Kritarchy Kerfuffle, where a newsletter about immigration news and opinion included a link to us, because we publish immigration news and opinion. And that story admitted that the word Kritarch wasn't anti-Semitic, on the authority of the ADL's Aryeh Tuchman:
"on its own, the term is not self-evidently anti-Semitic.” [Justice Dept. Newsletter to Immigration Judges Included an Extremist Blog Post, by Christine Hauser, August 23, 2019]
Just another day with the New York Times's smear machine