On Friday, September 28, 2018, the Executive Office for Immigration Review ("EOIR" - pronounced "Eeyore" like the Winnie the Pooh character) announced the hiring and assignment of 46 new immigration judges ("IJ"). Of those 46, four were assigned to the LaSalle Immigration Court in Jena, Louisiana, the middle-of-nowhere location of the GEO run (for profit) ICE detention center where so many immigrants arrested in Arkansas are separated from their families and detained.
The LaSalle court has been operating for well over a year, with EOIR often flying IJs to Jena to manage the docket a few days to a few weeks at a time to begin and then transferring management of the court to the Miami Immigration Court. The Miami court's IJs would appear via televideo alongside ICE trial attorneys and other court staff, including interpreters.
Miami's management ended mere weeks ago and now we have what we presume to be full-time IJs, living in and…
Like the Memphis Immigration Court, the LaSalle Immigration Court is not an independent arbiter of the law. Instead, it is an administrative law court. It is the sub-agency of another agency tasked with enforcing the laws as that agency sees fit.
Practically speaking, what this means is the immigration judges are not judges at all. Rather, they are attorney employees of the U.S. Department of Justice and they have to do whatever the Attorney General, currently everyone's least-favorite Southern caricature, Jeff Sessions, tells them to do.
Looking specifically at the LaSalle court, this agency's sole purpose is to adjudicate the removal proceedings of detained immigrants. Individuals who have been detained from all over the mid-South, particularly Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Tenn…
Memphis Immigration Court is not an independent, Article III, court of law. Rather,
it is an administrative law court falling under the jurisdiction of the Office of the Chief Immigration Judge, a component of the Executive Office forImmigration Review under the Department of Justice. The court in Memphis has
jurisdiction over all non-detained removal proceedings originating in Arkansas,
Tennessee and Northern Mississippi. As we're located in Arkansas, the vast majority of our clients facing removal end up in Memphis. Our cases involving detained immigrants will find themselves before
one of the Louisiana courts and we sometimes have clients who find themselves
before the Dallas or Kansas City immigration courts either because they are
placed there by accident or they live in eastern Oklahoma or southwest
Missouri. Regardless, Memphis is the general rule... 80 Monroe Avenue, Memphis, TNPhoto courtesy of Google
As such, it might be helpful to get to know the Memphis Immigration C…