Remarks as Delivered
Thank you, Sirce, for that kind introduction. And thank you for your leadership at EOIR and for your team’s continued commitment to the Department of Justice’s important mission.
To the 28 new immigration judges here with us today – congratulations! Today you join the ranks of the nation’s immigration judge corps, a role whose occupants are uniquely situated as adjudicators in the first instance of our nation’s immigration laws. As Justice Department employees, you are dedicated public servants who will be working to fulfill the Department’s mission of ensuring the fair and impartial administration of justice. As judges, your hard work and dedication will promote the rule of law and uphold the integrity of our immigration system.
I am honored to stand before you today as you step into this challenging but rewarding position. You are charged with making some of the most difficult decisions a public servant can make, and each of you was selected by Attorney General Barr because of your ability to rise to that challenge. Your substantive legal experience, your expertise in judicial practices and procedures, and—perhaps most importantly—your demonstrated judicial temperament—show that you are qualified to make those tough decisions. The Attorney General trusts you with his authority to interpret and administer our nation’s immigration laws in a fair, expeditious, and equitable manner.
You are taking on your duties at a critical time. Significant increases in caseloads in recent years have taxed EOIR’s resources to an unprecedented degree. Although EOIR is completing cases at a historic level, the flow of new cases continues unabated.
It is vital to the integrity of our laws and to the ideals of this great nation that each case be given due consideration and adjudicated fairly based on the facts. That is why the Department of Justice has hired nearly 250 immigration judges since January 2017. With your class, EOIR now has over 465 immigration judges—85 percent more than it had just five years ago. You are a critical part of the solution to one of our most pressing national challenges.
As a newly appointed immigration judge, you will be charged with applying the law and ensuring that the rule of law is respected regardless of the outcome.
You are now charged with a solemn and significant responsibility to the United States of America and to all who come before you. Remember that you have been appointed to perform these critical duties because the Department believes in your qualifications, your knowledge of the law, and your personal integrity.
Thank you all once again for your willingness to serve, and congratulations on your appointment as immigration judges.