News

Law & the Courts

‘Apply the Law’ — Sessions Cautions Immigrations Judges Against Allowing ‘Sympathy’ to Cloud Judgment

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions (REUTERS/Leah Millis)

Attorney general Jeff Sessions called on incoming immigration judges on Monday to enforce the law without falling prey to defense attorneys seeking to pervert justice and their sympathetic clients.

“When we depart from the law and create nebulous legal standards out of a sense of sympathy for the personal circumstances of a respondent in our immigration courts, we do violence to the rule of law and constitutional fabric that bind this great nation. Your job is to apply the law — even in tough cases,” Sessions told the 44 newly appointed judges concluding their training in Fall Church, Va., according to Buzzfeed News.

Sessions, who provides guidance for the nation’s 350 immigration judges, urged the Department of Justice employees to remain vigilant in the face of defense attorneys who use their training to “get around” U.S. immigration law.

“Good lawyers, using all of their talents and skill, work every day — like water seeping through an earthen dam — to get around the plain words of the [Immigration and Nationality Act] to advance their clients’ interests. Theirs is not the duty to uphold the integrity of the act. That is our most serious duty,” the former Alabama senator said.

Under Sessions, the Department of Justice has sought to constrain illegal immigration by reducing the number of acceptable justifications for asylum, implementing case quotas for judges and limiting judges’ autonomy in indefinitely suspending cases. Speaking the incoming judges Monday, Sessions characterized the direction of his department as a reflection of the American people’s will.

“They want a safe, secure border and a lawful system of immigration that actually works. Let’s deliver it for them,” Sessions said.

Representatives of the the National Association of Immigration Judges, a union that has long sought to secure immigration judges’ independence from the DOJ, criticized Sessions for attempting to sway the judges toward the prosecutorial perspective.

“The reality is that it is a political statement which does not articulate a legal concept that judges are required to be aware of and follow,” Dana Marks, a spokesperson for the National Association of Immigration Judges and an immigration judge in San Francisco, told Buzzfeed. “It did appear to be a one-sided argument made by a prosecutor.”

Most Popular

Law & the Courts

Why Wasn’t Andrew McCabe Charged?

The Justice Department announced Friday that it is closing its investigation of Andrew McCabe, the FBI’s former deputy director, over his false statements to investigators probing an unauthorized leak that McCabe had orchestrated. McCabe was fired in March 2018, shortly after a blistering Justice Department ... Read More
Law & the Courts

Why Wasn’t Andrew McCabe Charged?

The Justice Department announced Friday that it is closing its investigation of Andrew McCabe, the FBI’s former deputy director, over his false statements to investigators probing an unauthorized leak that McCabe had orchestrated. McCabe was fired in March 2018, shortly after a blistering Justice Department ... Read More
Elections

There’s Zero Chance Bloomberg Would Pick Hillary

There’s no better evidence that Mike Bloomberg’s chances of getting the Democratic nomination are on the rise than the fact that the opportunistic Hillary Clinton is already trying to grab a piece of the action. The Drudge Report startled the political world on Saturday by noting that “sources close to ... Read More
Elections

There’s Zero Chance Bloomberg Would Pick Hillary

There’s no better evidence that Mike Bloomberg’s chances of getting the Democratic nomination are on the rise than the fact that the opportunistic Hillary Clinton is already trying to grab a piece of the action. The Drudge Report startled the political world on Saturday by noting that “sources close to ... Read More
Elections

The Media’s Bernie Sanders Makeover Begins

Just you watch: By the time Election Day rolls around in November, liberal columnists will be telling us that Bernie Sanders is the “real conservative” in the presidential race. Many among the center–left commentariat are struggling to come to terms with the likelihood that the Democratic Party will ... Read More
Elections

The Media’s Bernie Sanders Makeover Begins

Just you watch: By the time Election Day rolls around in November, liberal columnists will be telling us that Bernie Sanders is the “real conservative” in the presidential race. Many among the center–left commentariat are struggling to come to terms with the likelihood that the Democratic Party will ... Read More
Religion

Getting Real About Christianity

Charlotte, N.C. -- There were women weeping in a chapel here. One woman named Veronica was nearly inconsolable. She was talking about the crucifixion of Christ as if it was happening right then and there. She was feeling it. She was seeing it as the consequences of her sins. She was overwhelmed by the love of a ... Read More
Religion

Getting Real About Christianity

Charlotte, N.C. -- There were women weeping in a chapel here. One woman named Veronica was nearly inconsolable. She was talking about the crucifixion of Christ as if it was happening right then and there. She was feeling it. She was seeing it as the consequences of her sins. She was overwhelmed by the love of a ... Read More