The kritarchs in the immigration bureaucracy, the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR), are at it again. And again they blame the backlog: the backlog they alone are responsible for. Of course, the solution to the backlog is not for them to be held responsible for their failure to do the work that resulted in the backlog.
The culprit is new, Mimi Tsankov (apparently Amiena Khan and A. Ashley Tabaddor are no longer officers of the kritarchs union, the National Association of Immigration Judges), but the problem is unchanged from days of the corrupt Tabaddor and radical Khan.
Radical kritarchs in the Deep State want to make immigration policy unaffected by Congress, which makes immigration law, and the President who executes those laws. Tabaddor and former NAIJ official Dana Leigh Marks lobbied publicly to make the EOIR an independent part of the judiciary, rather than its current position as a component of the Department of Justice (DOJ), where the kritarchs are subject to supervision and discipline.
The backlog of immigration cases has only grown with the 2008 to 2016 Obama Regime Administrative Amnesty that attracted millions of illegal aliens, a 2014 and 2018 zerg rush to the border ostensibly by “unaccompanied minors,” and now the total collapse of the border under the Biden Regime Administrative Amnesty. It now stands at 1.6 million cases, and the proposed solution by the Deep State is to make immigration law like Bankruptcy and Tax Courts, with lifetime appointments for the judges and no accountability or adult supervision.
New Kritarch Union Head Mimi Tsankov
The House Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Immigration and Citizenship will meet Thursday to discuss the prospect of making the nation’s immigration courts independent of America’s top legal enforcer, the Department of Justice (DOJ).
Among those who will speak before the House committee is federal immigration judge Mimi Tsankov, who served with the Justice Department’s Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) since 2006 and serves as president of the National Association of Immigration Judges labor union.
While insights on the federal immigration court system and its 1.6 million pending case backlog are often shielded from the public due to press restrictions on federal judges, Tsankov, in her capacity as president of the union, was able to shed light on the challenges facing the nation’s immigration judges in an interview with Newsweek.
“When I think about the backlog, I look at it from a big picture perspective, and we have to think about the fact that over the years there’s really been a tremendous imbalance, since 911, between enforcement and adjudication,” Tsankov told Newsweek. “Many more resources have been devoted to enforcement but far fewer to the immigration courts. This is somewhat predictable because the structure of the immigration court is that it’s placed within the Department of Justice, which is a law enforcement agency.”
[Fixing the 1.6M Immigration Court Case Backlog Means Moving It Away From DOJ, Judge Says, by Alex J. Rouhandeh, Newsweek/MSN News, January 20, 2022]
Now, some of that sounds quite moderate: it’s just a matter of resources and DOJ hasn’t brought resources to the EOIR because they are an enforcement agency. Well, only part right, at best, dishonest at worst.
The DOJ has little skin in the immigration enforcement game. No DOJ components arrest illegal aliens qua illegal aliens as part of their law enforcement mandate. All the immigration law enforcement agencies are in the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). So, we have an attorney, a government attorney, a law professor, and a member of various boards of the American Bar Association (ABA) basically lying to the public.
In fact, the DOJ spends more money on the EOIR than it does on any other immigration-related matter. The only other major expenditure by the DOJ is their immigration appeals unit, which deals solely with appeals of immigration claims by aliens in the appellate courts, which is neither enforcement-related nor does it have much of a budget.
The second moderate sounding misdirection is the pretty little lie about the imbalance between enforcement and adjudication:
“When I think about the backlog, I look at it from a big picture perspective, and we have to think about the fact that over the years there’s really been a tremendous imbalance, since 911, between enforcement and adjudication,” Tsankov told Newsweek.
Now that budget is again in DHS, all enforcement components are in DHS, as is the adjudication component of DHS, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). And USCIS is a massive expenditure, but it is all user fee funded. So, there is no shortage of funding for adjudication.
Perhaps, though, Tsankov was referring to the work of Immigration Judges (IJ) as “adjudication.” That would be even more telling. Adjudication is making a decision about an application. IJs don’t adjudicate applications, but review decisions made by DHS to ensure those decisions or findings accord with immigration law.
What Tsankov really means is that she and other IJs should be making immigration decisions, rather than just being a check to see that DHS officers and attorneys are in compliance with the law. Basically, IJs are just a form of quality control based on appeals by an alien. They don’t have a dog in the fight, but Tsankov is really interested in the outcomes of decisions, i.e., awarding more benefits to illegal aliens. That is the true meaning of her propaganda piece here. It is as if the Newsweek reporter, Alex Rouhandeh, was just a transcriptionist, rather than a reporter seeking all aspects of the story. Unsurprisingly, Rouhandeh interviews no one else concerning this important issue, typical of one-sided pieces on behalf of illegal aliens that the Lying Press is known for.
In addition to power, the kritarchs are seeking independence and unaccountability. Tsankov thinks it is wrong for the Executive Branch to respond to national crises and foreign invasion.
Tsankov speculates that the resources needed by the judges could be stymied by the fact that the DOJ focuses on law enforcement and must respond with political pressures brought on by situations like the historic surge of migrants at the Southwest border in 2021.
Note the use of the term “migrant,” which is not a legal term in any immigration statute, instead of the term “illegal alien” or “alien,” both of which are in statute. Tsankov is letting her ideology slip. She wants to conduct her own Immigration Court Amnesty.
Surprisingly though, Tsankov makes her advocacy for an independent immigration court quite explicitly based on having no review or supervision. She hated it when Jeff Sessions created job performance standards for those kritarchs who want to endlessly defer cases to the future, in hope that DHS will eventually drop charges. The strategy of every IJ is to make every immigration case Jarndyce and Jarndyce, always in court so the illegal alien cannot be deported. It is as if IJs don’t want to do any work, at least not in immigration court.
“What we really want to do is create an article one immigration court and we consider that to be the only solution that really is a lasting solution,” Tsankov said. “Under an article one immigration court, it would be fully outside of the Department of Justice. It would not even be hopefully in the executive branch. This would be a court that would be operated independently. We would not then be tied to performance metrics, for example. It would be a court that would be similar to a bankruptcy or tax court, for example.”
And there is the rub, Tsankov and the other kritarchs don’t want to be supervised or held to actually doing any work. Note that the Biden Regime has quashed the decision upholding decertification of the kritarchs' union. The kritarchs are especially angry that then- Attorney General Jeff Sessions required them to be in their courtrooms making decisions and not rewarding illegal aliens by dropping charges under the guise of administrative closure, rather than off doing other work unrelated to their duties as federal employees.
And there we have another clue: kritarchs are quite busy doing other things that they enjoy. Kritarch Tsankov is a very busy person outside her courtroom, quite possibly the reason that she does not want to be held responsible for timely and efficiently performing her federal duties. She is too busy being an Assistant Law Professor, member of the boards and committees of various Left-wing activist groups like the American Bar Association, the Federal Bar Association, and the National Association of Women Judges, among others. Tsankov seems to be holding more jobs than a Henley from the West Indies.
Check out the moonlighting that other kritarch union officials do. It is as if they have more time on their hands than they need. They are too busy teaching at law schools and being busybodies on committees than performing their federal duties. The kritarchs are clearly the reason that there is a backlog in immigration cases. Time to hold them responsible and make them work some overtime hours.
But the real solution to the kritarch problem is the EOIR itself. It has aggrandized itself, while only performing worse and worse. Time to abolish the EOIR and their coven of kritarchs. Replace endless appeals until the alien wins with Expedited Removal and Special Inquiry Boards or Special Inquiry Officers, not lawyers, but experienced immigration officers not seeking to be “independent” and unaccountable.