EOIR Selects Four New Assistant Chief Immigration Judges

Wendy Barlow's picture

Introduction

The Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) selected four new assistant chief immigration judges on August 23, 2019. Assistant chief immigration judges oversee the operations of the immigration courts to which they are assigned. In addition to these oversight responsibilities, assistant chief immigration judges also hear cases.

Below, we will provide biographical information about each of the new assistant chief immigration judges courtesy of the EOIR notice [PDF version]. Please see our topic index for all of our posts on new immigration judges, administrative immigration judges, and members of the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) [see index].

New Assistant Chief Immigration Judges

The four new assistant chief immigration judges will each serve on one immigration court.

Theresa Holmes-Simmons, Assistant Chief Immigration Judge, Charlotte Immigration Court

2008-2019: Immigration judge at the Charlotte Immigration Court
1998-2008: Immigration judge at the New York City Immigration Court
1996-1998: Assistant district counsel for the former Immigration and Naturalization Service in New York
1994-1996: Special prosecutor and assistant attorney general, New York State Attorney General's Office
1988-1994: Assistant district attorney with the New York County District Attorney's Office
Juris Doctorate from Rutgers University School of Law in 1988

Judge Holmes-Simmons served as an immigration judge on the New York City and Charlotte Immigration Courts for 21 years. Prior to serving as an immigration judge and working as an attorney for the former Immigration and Naturalization Service, Judge Holmes-Simmons worked for eight years as a prosecutor with the New York State Attorney General and the Manhattan District Attorney's Office. She has an undergraduate degree from CUNY Brooklyn College.

Christopher R. Seppanen, Assistant Chief Immigration Judge, Detroit Immigration Court

2017-2019: Immigration judge at the Cleveland Immigration Court
2002-2017: Administrative law judge for the State of Michigan in Lansing, Michigan (2014-17 Chief administrative law judge; 2012-2014 Deputy chief administrative law judge; 2002-2012 Supervisory administrative law judge)
1997-2002: Administrative law judge for the State of Michigan, in Manistee, Michigan
1996-1997: Trial attorney for the Office of Public Advocacy, in Alpena, Michigan
Juris Doctor from the University of Kentucky School of Law in 1993

Before his two-year stint as an immigration judge on the Cleveland Immigration Court, Judge Seppanen served as an administrative law judge in Michigan for two decades, giving him extensive experience in a variety of administrative judicial settings. He is the only one of the new class of assistant chief immigration judges to be appointed to serve at a different immigration court than the one he had been serving on as a regular immigration judge. We covered his appointment as an immigration judge in an earlier post [see blog].

Hugo R. Martinez, Assistant Chief Immigration Judge, Fort Worth Immigration Adjudication Center

2018-2019: Immigration judge at the Fort Worth Immigration Adjudication Center
2010-2018: Assistant U.S. attorney at the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of Texas in Corpus Christi, Texas
2005-2010: Assistant district attorney for the Tarrant County District Attorney's Office in Fort Worth, Texas
2004-2004: Private practice
Juris Doctor from Texas A&M School of Law in 2004

Judge Martinez served as a prosecutor at the Federal and State levels for 13 years prior to taking the immigration bench in November 2018. We covered his initial appointment as an immigration judge at the Fort Work Immigration Adjudication Center in a separate post [see blog].

Grady A. Crooks, Assistant Chief Immigration Judge, LaSalle Immigration Court

2018-2019: Immigration judge at the LaSalle Immigration Court
2017-2017: Assistant U.S. attorney at the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Western District of Louisiana in Shreveport, Louisiana
2005-2016: Attorney for the U.S. Air Force in a number of locations
Juris Doctor from Rutgers University School of Law in 2004

Save for one year as a Federal prosecutor, Judge Crooks' experience came as an attorney for the U.S. Air Force prior to taking the immigration bench at the LaSalle Immigration Court in late 2018. He was part of the same class of immigration judges as Judge Martinez (see above), and we covered his initial appointment in the same post [see blog].

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EOIR Selects Four New Assistant Chief Immigration Judges