The Latest: Immigration judge may have violated procedure
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — The Latest on immigration judges accusing the Attorney General Jeff Sessions of undermining judicial authority (all times local):
An immigration official says a judge at the center of a grievance filed Wednesday by immigration judges alleging the U.S. Attorney General undermined his judicial authority may have violated procedures.
A spokesman for the Executive Office for Immigration Review said late Wednesday that Judge Steven Morley potentially violated practices and policies governed by federal law during a recent case that launched the grievance from the immigration judges’ union. The spokesman said the Office of the Chief Immigration Judge will investigate issues raised about Morley’s conduct.
The statement didn’t say what the alleged violations were.
The grievance alleges that Morley was removed from a case so another judge could produce the desired outcome of a deportation order. It asks that all of Morley’s cases that were later reassigned, be returned to his court.
Immigration judges are accusing the Justice Department and U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions of undermining a Philadelphia judge’s independence by having cases removed from his court, apparently because he was too slow to issue deportation orders.
The judge’s union filed the grievance Wednesday.
The grievance stems from a case of a Guatemalan immigrant who had come to the U.S. as an unaccompanied minor and had missed several court hearings.
Judge Steven A. Morley had suspended the case to examine whether proper notice had been sent to the man. The agency then reassigned the case to a supervisory judge who traveled from Virginia to hear the matter and issued a deportation order.
The union says dozens of additional cases were also removed from Morley.
The Justice Department wasn’t immediately available to comment.