Biden fires Trump-era immigration judges, prompting questions from GOP lawmakers

In one of the latest controversies to swirl around President Joe Biden, news has emerged that the administration has fired a number of immigration judges appointed by former President Donald Trump, and now, leading congressional Republicans are demanding answers as to why, as Fox News reports.

Late last month, Fox News reported separately on claims raised by Matthew O’Brien, one of the aforementioned Trump-era judges, who was among multiple appointees whose employment was terminated after a probationary period after which most similarly situated individuals are re-classified into permanent positions.

At the time, O’Brien suggested that he and the other judges at issue have been denied the customary transition from probationary status due to primarily political reasons, stating, “[a]s soon as the Biden administration took over, we became subject to a coordinated attack campaign of filing complaints against us for all kinds of utterly baseless things,” adding that immigration court insiders have told him there is a “deliberately orchestrated political campaign” to oust Trump-appointed judges.

The situation has since drawn the attention of the top-ranking Republicans on both the House and Senate Judiciary Committees, namely, Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) and Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA), who recently sent a letter to Attorney General Merrick Garland requesting an explanation of the dismissals.

“We write about your decision to terminate the employment of multiple immigration judges who were hired during the Trump administration,” the lawmakers began their communication.

“If true, your termination of these immigration judges because of their political ideology suggests that the Department of Justice acted in violation of the Civil Service Reform Act (CSRA), which specifically prohibits discrimination on the basis of political affiliation,” the pair continued.

The letter went on to cite a recent press report that stated, “[t]he Biden administration has been quietly packing the nation’s immigration courts, ousting Trump-hired judges and installing judges deemed to be friendlier to the immigrants whose cases they hear…” and opining that “[w]hile such a purge is reprehensible and potentially illegal, it is no surprise in light of the Biden-Harris administration’s commitment to open borders, pro-illegal immigration policies.”

The letter from Jordan and Grassley comes on the heels of another letter sent by 12 GOP House members last month alleging that the administration had “nefarious” motivations for the firings as well as of a complaint from the immigration judges’ union requesting reviews of three of the judges’ firings “to ensure that they were taken in full compliance with the law and that the probationary evaluation processes comports with fundamental fairness and sound labor relations.”

Clearly determined to get to the bottom of the situation and to shed light on the potential lawlessness of the administration’s actions, Jordan and Grassley have demanded a host of information on the circumstances of the judges’ firings and have given Garland a deadline of Aug. 3. Whether the materials will indeed be forthcoming, however, only time will tell.