In one of the latest controversies to swirl around the administration of President Joe Biden, a Trump-appointed immigration judge has stepped forward to offer evidence that he and several colleagues have been dismissed from their critically important jobs for solely political reasons in a deliberate campaign to fundamentally reshape and pack the court, as Fox News reports.
The assertion comes from Matthew O’Brien who was tapped as an immigration judge by Trump back in 2020 and who previously served as the research director at the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), an organization that advocates for stricter border controls.
Dismissals raise questions
As Fox News explains, immigration judges fall under the auspices of the Department of Justice, and upon appointment, work under a probationary status for a period of two years. Most judges are re-classified as non-probationary employees after serving that initial period, according to the outlet.
That pattern and practice, however, has been disturbed since Biden took office, however, with O’Brien and at least one of his colleagues having had their employment terminated altogether at the end of the probationary time frame.
O’Brien further suspects that upwards of 10 other immigration judges have been denied the typical transition from probationary status, and he believes the reason all boils down to politics, despite administration insistence that performance on the job is the only factor in such decisions.
“As soon as I sat down on the bench, my very first case that I heard there was a recusal motion filed… . It was completely legally inaccurate, it deliberately misquoted case law in order to misrepresent what I said. And it basically said, ‘We think Judge O’Brien should be recused because he is a White supremacist and a Nazi because he worked at FAIR.’ So that started the whole thing,” O’Brien stated.
“As soon as the Biden administration took over, we became subject to a coordinated attack campaign of filing complaints against us for all kinds of utterly baseless things,” the judge continued, adding, that he has heard from several immigration court insiders that there is a “deliberately orchestrated political campaign” against not just him, but also his Trump-appointed colleagues.
Broader strategy afoot?
Putting O’Brien’s allegations in the context of a potentially much broader plan to overhaul the Executive Office of Immigration Review (EOIR), the Washington Times reports that the Biden administration is in effect “quietly packing the nation’s immigration courts,” not just by ousting Trump appointees, but also by installing judges known to be accepting of the open borders policies progressives prefer.
As part of the plan, the Times notes, the EOIR has had four of its highest-ranking officials effectively pushed out of their positions, including the agency’s director, who was involuntarily relieved of duties.
Those changes, together with the dismissal of at least six confirmed Trump-appointed judges are, in the words of one DOJ source, an “unprecedented” example of the deliberate introduction of politics into the courts.
“It’s an attempt to weaponize the courts along ideological lines,” O’Brien declared. “It’s court packing on steroids. It’s court packing by deletion and then addition, because they’re getting rid of judges and they’re replacing them with people who meet their ideological framework.”
Kudos to O’Brien for shining a spotlight on yet another egregious example of the Biden administration’s dogged determination to transform the electorate through unfettered immigration, but whether anything is done to curtail this practice in the near term, only time will tell.