The Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) on Friday held the investiture of 23 new immigration judges, which increases the total number of immigration judges to 351. Since the end of January 2017, 82 immigration judges have been sworn in, and EOIR anticipates three additional hiring classes this fall that will total at least 75 more immigration judges.
As part of a series of common-sense reforms to the immigration court system, Attorney General Jeff Sessions last year introduced a “streamlined hiring plan” emphasizing clear deadlines for ensuring immigration judge candidates move efficiently through the hiring process. Due to this effort, some of the immigration judges sworn-in on Friday were hired in approximately 266 days, down from an average of 742 days just one year ago.
The investiture was announced by EOIR Director James McHenry, and Principal Deputy Chief Immigration Judge Christopher A. Santoro presided over the investiture during a ceremony held Aug. 10, 2018, at the Department of Justice’s Great Hall in Washington, D.C.
“Hiring more immigration judges and reducing the time it takes to hire a judge are two key elements reducing the pending caseload of immigration court cases,” said Attorney General Jeff Sessions. “EOIR Director James McHenry should be commended for making tremendous progress on both fronts since he became Acting Director in May 2017. Under his leadership, we are making great strides toward having an immigration court system that serves the national interest.”
After a thorough application process, Attorney General Jeff Sessions appointed Stuart D. Alcorn, Robert A. Fellrath, Kathleen French, Daniel B. Gilbert, Lena Golovnin, Cynthia Gordon, Nathan L. Herbert, Howard C. Hom, Natalie B. Huddleston, David C. Koelsch, W. Scott Laragy, Zakia Mahasa, Michael G. McFarland, Patrick M. McKenna, Nancy E. Miller, Angela Munson, Jonathan W. Owens, Kaarina Salovaara, Eric J. Tijerina, Nelson A. Vargas-Padilla, Michael G. Walleisa, George J. Ward Jr., and Jason R. Waterloo to their new positions.