Politico Report: Biden Administration Will Replace Top Immigration Court Official (A Trump Ally)

According to reporting from Politico, the Biden Administration is taking immediate action on our immigration courts. President Biden will replace James McHenry, a close ally of the Trump Administration, as the Director of the Executive Office for Immigration Review. It is an important change and a strong signal that the Biden Administration is taking the country’s immigration policy in a new direction. Here, our Los Angeles immigration law team discusses Politico’s recent report and explains its implications for our immigration courts.

Jean King Will Become Acting Director of the Executive Office for Immigration Review

The Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) is a sub-agency of the United States Department of Justice (DOJ). The EOIR plays a key role in our country’s immigration system, including overseeing deportation and removal cases in our immigration courts. Indeed, it is one of the primary roles of the EOIR. The Biden Administration has announced it intends to remove the current director of the agency, James McHenry.

Notably, Mr. McHenry was selected by former Trump Attorney General Jeff Sessions. One of the country’s most prominent anti-immigration political leaders, Jeff Sessions consistently worked to narrow immigrant rights. As reported by Reuters, President Trump’s first attorney general had an enormous, unprecedented impact on our nation’s immigration courts. There were many concerns about Mr. McHenry’s continued presence in a leadership role at the EOIR.

Following through on commitment to change course, the Biden Administration is tapping a career EOIR legal official, Jean King, to serve as the Acting Director of the Executive Office for Immigration Review. Politico notes that Ms. King most recently served as the EOIR’s New Chief Administrative Law Judge. She will lead the sub-agency until a permanent director is selected by the Biden Administration.

Our Immigration Courts are in Need of Repair and Reform

The American immigration courts have long been in need of reform. New leadership under a new administration is a positive initial step for immigrant rights and for the system as a whole. Still, there is a long way to go to increase fairness and efficiency. For many years, the backlogs in U.S. immigration courts have been enormous. Our region feels this issue hard, as California has the largest immigration court backlog in the entire country. One of the things that makes immigration courts unique is that they operate under legal authority of the executive branch. For this reason, the Biden Administration does have a significant opportunity to make some long-term changes for the better.

Get Help From an Immigration Lawyer in Los Angeles, CA

At Goldstein Immigration Lawyers, our California immigration attorney is committed to providing the best quality of client service and legal representation to people and families. If you have any questions about immigration courts or your case, we here as a resource. Please do not hesitate to get in touch with our team for a confidential initial immigration consultation. With an office in Los Angeles, we practice immigration law throughout California.