EOIR Swears in 46 New Immigration Judges in Largest Ever Investiture Ceremony

Wendy Barlow's picture

Introduction

On September 28, 2018, the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) announced that it had completed its largest ever immigration judge investiture, swearing in 46 new members of the immigration bench [PDF version]. The investiture of 46 new immigration judges in the September 28, 2018 announcement followed the investiture of 23 immigration judges announced on August 16, 2018 [see blog]. This uptick in immigration judge hiring has brought the size of the immigration judge corps to 395. The news release states that the EOIR plans to announce two more classes of immigration judges in the final months of 2018.

In this post, we will briefly examine the new resumes of each of the 46 new immigration judges, sorted by the immigration courts on which they will serve. In the conclusion, we will discuss trends from the latest class of immigration judges. The information on the new immigration judges is extracted from an EOIR news release on their hiring [PDF version]. To see an index of our previous posts on new immigration hires, please see our full article on the issue [see index].

The following are the immigration courts on which the new immigration judges will serve:

New Immigration Judges

The following is the list of 46 new immigration judges sorted by their court of service.

Arlington Immigration Court

The Arlington Immigration Court is located in Arlington, Virginia.

Immigration Judge Paul A. McCloskey

Immigration Judge Paul A. McCloskey began hearing cases at the Arlington Immigration Court in October 2018. Before becoming an immigration judge, he served in a variety of positions for the ICE Office of Principal Legal Advisor from 2002 to 2018. These included associate deputy principal advisor for Field Legal Operations (2016-2018); deputy chief of the Criminal Law division (2010-2014); associate legal director in the Enforcement Law division (2010-2014); and assistant chief counsel in Baltimore (2002-2008). From 2008 to 2010, he served on a detail as a trial attorney in the Domestic Security Section of the Department of Justice. He has a law degree from the University of Maryland School of Law.

Immigration Judge Francisco Mendez

Immigration Judge Francisco Mendez began hearing cases at the Arlington Immigration Court in October 2018. From 2011 to 2018, Judge Mendez was an administrative judge for the Department of Defense's Defense Office of Hearings and Appeals, after serving as a trial attorney for the Department of Defense from 2003 to 2011. He also previously served as a judge advocate in the U.S. Air Force from 1996 to 2016, with six years of that period being in active duty status and fourteen in the reserves. He has a law degree from Fordham Law School.

Immigration Judge Vince H. Spath

Immigration Judge Vince H. Spath began hearing cases at the Arlington Immigration Court in October 2018. Prior to his appointment, he served as an attorney and judge with the U.S. Air Force from 1993 to 2018. He has a law degree from Quinnipiac University and a master of laws degree from the Judge Advocate General's Legal Center and School.

Immigration Judge Cynthia Shepherd Torg

Immigration Judge Cynthia Shepherd Torg began hearing cases at the Arlington Immigration Court in October 2018. Prior to becoming an immigration judge, she accrued two decades of experience as a senior trial attorney with the Department of Justice in Washington D.C after serving as a local prosecutor in Virginia from 1993 to 1998. She clerked for Judge Tommy E. Miller of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia. Judge Torg has a law degree from the University of Virginia School of Law.

Atlanta Immigration Court

The Atlanta Immigration Court is located in Atlanta, Georgia.

Assistant Chief Immigration Judge Sirce E. Owen

Assistant Chief Immigration Judge Sirce E. Owen was appointed to begin supervisory duties at the Atlanta Immigration Court and hearing cases in October 2018. She will oversee the Atlanta, Charlotte, and Stewart Immigration Courts. Before her appointment, she was a deputy chief counsel in the Office of Legal Counsel, Office of the Principal Legal Advisor, ICE in Atlanta. She served in a similar capacity for ICE in Atlanta from 2008 to 2016. Judge Owen has a law degree from Georgia State University.

Bloomington Immigration Court

The Bloomington Immigration Court is located in Fort Snelling, Minnesota.

Immigration Judge M. Audrey Carr

Immigration Judge M. Audrey Carr began hearing cases at the Bloomington Immigration Court in October 2018. Prior to her appointment, she was the director of immigration and special programs with Legal Services NYC. She had previously worked in the area of immigration defense with various organizations in New York and Minnesota. She has a law degree from St. Mary's University School of Law.

Boston Immigration Court

The Boston Immigration Court is located in Boston, Massachusetts.

Immigration Judge Todd A. Masters

Immigration Judge Todd A. Masters began hearing cases at the Boston Immigration Court in October 2018. Immediately prior to beginning his service on the immigration bench, Judge Masters was an assistant chief counsel and deputy chief counsel for ICE in Boston from 2008 to 2018. From 2005 to 2008, he worked as a local prosecutor in Boston. From 1992 to 2002, he served in the U.S. Navy after graduating from the U.S. Naval Academy. Judge Masters has a law degree from Boston College Law School.

Eloy Immigration Court

The Eloy Immigration Court is located in Eloy, Arizona.

Immigration Judge Julian Castaneda

Immigration Judge Julian Castaneda began hearing cases at the Eloy Immigration Court in October 2018. Judge Castaneda had previously served as a prosecutor, most recently for the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of Texas from 2016-2018, and prior to that as an assistant district attorney with various local district attorneys offices in Texas. Judge Castaneda has a law degree from the University of South Dakota School of Law.

Immigration Judge Hye Y. Chon

Immigration Judge Hye Y. Chon began hearing cases at the Eloy Immigration Court in October 2018. From 2006 to 2018, she was an assistant chief counsel with ICE in Los Angeles. She also has experience from that period as an assistant U.S. Attorney. From 2002 thru 2006, she was an attorney with the California Supreme Court. Judge Chon has a law degree from the University of California, Hastings College of Law in San Francisco.

Falls Church Immigration Adjudication Center

The Falls Church Immigration Adjudication Center is located in Falls Church, Virginia. It hears cases via video teleconference.

Immigration Judge Audra R. Behné

Immigration Judge Behné began hearing cases at the Falls Church Immigration Adjudication Center in October 2018. Prior to her appointment, she worked as an attorney in private practice, including as senior pro bono coordinating attorney for Kids in Need of Defense in Los Angeles . She has a law degree from the Southwestern University School of Law.

Immigration Judge Emily N. Farrar-Crockett

Immigration Judge Emily N. Farrar-Crockett began hearing cases at the Falls Church Adjudication Center in October 2018. From 2013-2018, she worked as an immigration attorney. From 2001-2013, Judge Farrar-Crockett was an attorney with the Louisville Metro Public Defender Office. She has a law degree from Tulane Law School.

Forth Worth Immigration Adjudication Center

The Fort Worth Immigration Adjudication Center is located in Fort Worth, Texas. It hears cases via video teleconference.

Immigration Judge Eric C. Bales

Immigration Judge Eric C. Bales began hearing cases at the Fort Worth Adjudication Center in October 2018. Prior to his appointment, he served as a lawyer in various capacities with the Department of Homeland Security's immigration components from 2008-2018, and was most recently an assistant chief counsel for ICE in Dallas from 2016-2018. He has also been a judge advocate for the Texas Army National Guard since 2014. Judge Bales has a law degree from Ave Maria School of Law.

Immigration Judge Monica Thompson Guidry

Immigration Judge Monica Thompson Guidry began hearing cases at the Fort Worth Immigration Adjudication Center in October 2018. Prior to her appointment, Judge Guidry was a deputy chief counsel with ICE in Houston from 2009 to 2018. She served in similar capacities for ICE in Houston and Los Angeles from 2002 to 2009. From 1998 to 2000, Judge Guidry was an attorney with the U.S. Department of Labor in Kansas City, Missouri. She has a law degree from South Texas College of Law.

Immigration Judge Brandon L. Hart

Immigration Judge Brandon L. Hart began hearing cases at the Fort Worth Immigration Adjudication Center in October 2018. From 1996 to 2018, Judge Hart was a judge advocate with the U.S. Air Force. He has a law degree from the University of Utah and a master of laws degree from McGill University.

Immigration Judge Richard C. Jacobs

Immigration Judge Richard C. Jacobs began hearing cases at the Fort Worth Immigration Adjudication Center in October 2018. From 2008 to 2018, he was an assistant chief counsel and then deputy chief counsel for ICE in Miami and Orlando. During that period, he also served as a special assistant U.S. attorney at the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of Florida from 2010 to 2012. He served as a state attorney in Florida from 2000 to 2008. Judge Jacobs has a law degree from the University of Miami Law School.

Immigration Judge Joseph T. Leonard

Immigration Judge Joseph T. Leonard began hearing cases at the Fort Worth Immigration Adjudication Center in October 2018. His experience prior to beginning his service on the immigration bench came as a prosecutor. From 2008 to 2018, Judge Leonard was an assistant U.S. attorney for the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of Texas. From 2002 to 2008, he was an assistant district attorney in three different district attorney's offices in Texas. He has a law degree from the University of Texas School of Law.

Immigration Judge Hugo R. Martinez

Immigration Judge Hugo R. Martinez began hearing cases at the Fort Worth Immigration Adjudication Center in October 2018. His legal experience comes primarily from his career as a prosecutor. From 2010 to 2018, Judge Martinez was an assistant U.S. attorney at the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of Texas. From 2005 to 2010, he was an assistant district attorney for the Tarrant County (Dallas) District Attorney's Office. Judge Martinez has a law degree from Texas A&M University School of Law.

Immigration Judge Jennifer A. May

Immigration Judge Jennifer A. May began hearing cases at the Fort Worth Immigration Adjudication Center in October 2018. Prior to being hired as an immigration judge, she served as an assistant chief counsel for ICE in Kansas City, Missouri, from 2006 to 2018. She had previously worked for a decade as a local prosecutor. Judge May has a law degree from the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Law.

Houston Immigration Court

The Houston Immigration Court is located in Houston, Texas.

Assistant Chief Immigration Judge James Doolittle

Assistant Chief Immigration Judge James Doolittle was appointed to begin supervisory duties at the Houston Immigration Court and hearing cases in October 2018. Judge Doolittle served as a judge advocate for the U.S. Army from 2004-2017, retiring as a colonel. Prior to serving as a judge advocate, he worked in various capacities as a lawyer for the former Immigration and Naturalization Service from 1994-2004. Judge Doolittle has a law degree from the Washburn University School of Law.

Imperial Immigration Court

The Imperial Immigration Court is located in Imperial, California.

Immigration Judge Jaime Jasso

Immigration Judge Jaime Jasso began hearing cases at the Imperial Immigration Court in October 2018. From 2001 to 2018, Judge Jasso worked in private practice. He has a law degree from Whittier Law School.

LaSalle Immigration Court

The LaSalle Immigration Court is located in Jenna, Louisiana.

Immigration Judge Grady A. Crooks

Immigration Judge Grady A. Crooks began hearing cases at the LaSalle Immigration Court in October 2018. From 2005 to 2016, Judge Crooks was an attorney with the U.S. Air Force. In 2017, he served as an assistant U.S. attorney at the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Western District of Louisiana. He has a law degree from North Dakota State University.

Immigration Judge Steven B. Fuller

Immigration Judge Steven B. Fuller began hearing cases at the LaSalle Immigration Court in October 2018. Judge Fuller was an assistant chief counsel with ICE from 2016 to 2018 and from 2008 to 2009, both stints in Lumpkin, Georgia. From 2009 to 2014, Judge Fuller was an assistant center counsel with the U.S Army at Fort Hood. From 2001 to 2008, he was an attorney with the U.S. Army Judge Advocate General's Corps. He has a law degree from Regent University School of Law.

Immigration Judge Brent H. Landis

Immigration Judge Brent H. Landis began hearing cases at the LaSalle Immigration Court in October 2018. Judge Landis was a senior attorney for ICE in Phoenix from 2000 to 2018. From 1989 to 2011, he was an attorney with the Judge Advocate General's Corps, U.S. Air Force. He has a law degree from DePaul University.

Immigration Judge Cassie A. Thogersen

Immigration Judge Cassie A. Thogersen began hearing cases at the LaSalle Immigration Court in October 2018. From 2008 to 2018, she served as an assistant chief counsel and then as a deputy chief counsel for ICE in Oakdale, Louisiana. From 2001 to 2008, she was an attorney with the Department of Health and Human Services. Judge Thogersen has a law degree from the University of Wisconsin Law School.

Los Angeles Immigration Court

The Los Angeles Immigration Court is located in Los Angeles, California.

Immigration Judge Janette L. Allen

Immigration Judge Janette L. Allen began hearing cases at the Los Angeles Immigration Court in October 2018. Prior to her appointment, she served as senior litigation counsel for the Office of Immigration Litigation at the Department of Justice from 2016-2018, and a trial attorney for the same office from 2008 to 2016. She has a law degree from American University.

Immigration Judge Leon J. Francis

Immigration Judge Leon J. Francis began hearing cases at the Los Angeles Immigration Court in October 2018. Prior to his appointment, he served as a judge advocate with the U.S. Marine Corps for over two decades, from 1996 to 2018. From 2012 to 2018, he was a military judge. Judge Francis has a law degree from the Gonzaga University School of Law and a Master of Laws degree from the Judge Advocate General's Legal Center and School.

Immigration Judge Marni Guerrero

Immigration Judge Marni Guerrero began hearing cases at the Los Angeles Immigration Court in October 2018. Immediately prior to her appointment, she served as an assistant chief counsel with ICE from 2017 to 2018. From 2010 to 2013, she was an assistant U.S. attorney with the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Arizona. Before and after her stint as a U.S. attorney, she was in private practice. Judge Guerrero has a law degree from Arizona State University Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law.

Immigration Judge Carlos R. Juelle

Immigration Judge Carlos R. Juelle began hearing cases at the Los Angeles Immigration Court in October 2018. From 1997 to 2018, Judge Juelle was an attorney in private practice. He has a law degree from Pepperdine University School of Law.

Immigration Judge Nicholas A. Martz

Immigration Judge Nicholas A. Martz began hearing cases at the Los Angeles Immigration Court in October 2018. Prior to becoming an immigration judge, he was a Marine officer from 1998 to 2018 and served as a Judge Advocate from 2007 to 2018. He has a law degree from Florida State University and a Master of Laws degree from the U.S. Army Judge Advocate General's Legal Center and School.

Immigration Judge Jeffrey S. Miller

Immigration Judge Jeffrey S. Miller began hearing cases at the Los Angeles Immigration Court in October 2018. Before beginning his stint on the immigration bench, Judge Miller was an assistant U.S. attorney at the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of Texas from 2010 to 2018. Since 2005, he has served in the U.S. Coast Guard Reserves Legal Services Command. Judge Miller has a law degree from the Florida Coastal School of Law.

Immigration Judge Sebastian T. Patti

Immigration Judge Sebastian T. Patti began hearing cases at the Los Angeles Immigration Court in October 2018. From 1995 to 2018, Judge Patti served as a judge in various capacities in Cook County, Illinois, both administrative and appellate. From 1979 to 1995, he was a regional counsel for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in Chicago. Judge Patti has a law degree from the University of Kansas School of Law.

Immigration Judge Anne Kristina Perry

Immigration Judge Anne Kristina Perry began hearing cases at the Los Angeles Immigration Court in October 2018. From 1987 to 2018, she served as an assistant U.S. attorney, first in the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Nevada and section for the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of California. During that time, she also served as a volunteer judge pro tempore for the San Diego Superior Court from 2007 to 2018. She was a state and local prosecutor in Nevada prior to becoming a federal prosecutor. Judge Perry has a law degree from the Loyola Law School.

Immigration Judge Anita L. Simons

Immigration Judge Anita L. Simons began hearing cases at the Los Angeles Immigration Court in October 2018. Before becoming an immigration judge, she served as an administrative law judge (2013-2018) and a local prosecutor (2007-2013) in Arizona. She has a law degree from the University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law.

Newark Immigration Court

The Newark Immigration Court is located in Newark, New Jersey.

Immigration Judge Arya S. Ranasinghe

Immigration Judge Arya S. Ranasinghe began hearing cases at the Newark Immigration Court in October 2018. From 2008 to 2018, she was an assistant chief counsel for ICE in Newark. Judge Ranasinghe has a law degree from the Touro College Jacob D. Fuchsberg Law Center.

New York City Immigration Court

The New York City Immigration Court is located in Manhattan, New York.

Immigration Judge Samuel M. Factor

Immigration Judge Samuel M. Factor began hearing cases at the New York City Immigration Court in October 2018. From 2010 to 2018, Judge Factor was an administrative law judge with the Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance for the state of New York. He has a law degree from the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law.

Immigration Judge Brian T. Palmer

Immigration Judge Brian T. Palmer began hearing cases at the New York Immigration Court in October 2018. Before becoming an immigration judge, Judge Palmer compiled over three decades of experience as an attorney, judge, and commanding officer in the U.S. Marine Corps from 1987 to 2018. He has a law degree from the Western New England College School of law and a masters of law degree from the Judge Advocate General's Legal Center and School.

Immigration Judge Oshea Denise Spencer

Immigration Judge Oshea Denise Spencer began hearing cases at the New York City Immigration Court in October 2018. Her prior experience came primarily as a municipal court judge in Texas from 2005 to 2018. Judge Spencer was a local prosecutor in Richmond, Texas (2003-2013) and in the Bronx, New York (1998-2000). She has a law degree from the University of Texas at Austin School of Law.

Omaha Immigration Court

The Omaha Immigration Court is located in Omaha, Nebraska.

Immigration Judge Abby L. Meyer

Immigration Judge Abby L. Meyer began hearing cases at the Omaha Immigration Court in October 2018. Before beginning her service, Judge Meyer was an assistant chief counsel for ICE in Omaha and Atlanta, Georgia, from 2010 to 2018. From 2007 to 2010, she was an immigration service officer for the USCIS in Fairfax, Virginia. She has a law degree from the University of Nebraska School of Law.

Otero Immigration Court

The Otero Immigration Court is located in Chaparral, New Mexico.

Immigration Judge Lorely Ramirez Fernandez

Immigration Judge Fernandez began hearing cases on the Otero Immigration Court in October 2018. From 2007 to 2018, she served as an attorney for ICE, most recently as a senior attorney with the Office of Legal Advisor in El Paso, Texas, from 2016 to 2018. Judge Fernandez has a law degree from the University of Houston Law Center.

Immigration Judge Brock E. Taylor

Immigration Judge Brock E. Taylor began hearing cases at the Otero Immigration Court in October 2018. Before becoming an immigration judge, he was an assistant U.S. attorney at the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of New Mexico, after having served as an attorney-advisor for the Department of Justice's National Security Division from 2010 to 2012. Judge Taylor served as a law clerk for Judge Robert C. Brack of the United States District Court for the District of New Mexico and for Judge Eugene E. Siler, Jr., of the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. Judge Taylor has a law degree from Harvard Law School.

San Francisco Immigration Court

The San Francisco Immigration Court is located in San Francisco, California.

Immigration Judge Laura C. Figueroa

Immigration Judge Laura C. Figueroa began hearing cases at the San Francisco Immigration Court in October 2018. Prior to her appointment, she worked as an attorney in private practice in San Antonio, Texas. She has a law degree from the Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law.

Immigration Judge Dion A. Morwood

Immigration Judge Dion A. Morwood began hearing cases at the San Francisco Immigration Court in October 2018. From 2014 to 2018, he had served as a deputy chief counsel for ICE in Adelanto, California, after serving as an assistant chief counsel with the ICE Office of Principal Legal Advisor in Adelanto and Florence, Arizona from 2009 to 2014. He has a law degree from Brigham Young University.

Immigration Judge Shadee M. Star

Immigration Judge Shadee M. Starr began hearing cases at the San Francisco Immigration Court in October 2018. Before beginning service on the immigration bench, Judge Starr was a senior attorney for ICE in Los Angeles (2010-2018) and an assistant chief counsel for ICE in Los Angeles (2003-2010). She has a law degree from Stetson University School of Law.

Stewart Immigration Court

The Stewart Immigration Court is located in Lumpkin, Georgia.

Immigration Judge Jeffery R. Nance

Immigration Judge Jeffery R. Nance began hearing cases at the Stewart Immigration Court in October 2018. Before becoming an immigration judge, Judge Nance was an attorney, circuit judge, and chief circuit judge with the U.S. Army from 1998 to 2018. He has a law degree from the J. Reuben Clarke School of Law at Brigham Young University and a master of laws degree from the Judge Advocate General's Legal Center and School.

Tacoma Immigration Court

The Tacoma Immigration Court is located in Tacoma, Washington.

Immigration Judge Charles Neil Floyd

Immigration Judge Floyd began hearing cases at the Tacoma Immigration Court in October 2018. From 2009 to 2018, Judge Floyd was an assistant chief counsel with ICE at Tacoma. From 2004 to 2009, he served as an assistant U.S. attorney in Washington D.C. From 1998 to 2004, Judge Floyd was a judge advocate with the U.S. Army. He has a law degree from the University of Arkansas School of Law.

York Immigration Court

The York Immigration Court is located in York, Pennsylvania.

Immigration Judge Alice Song Hartye

Immigration Judge Alice Song Haryte began hearing cases at the York Immigration Court in October 2018. From 2006 to 2018, she was an assistant chief counsel with ICE in both York and Phoenix, Arizona. She served two stints as a special assistant U.S. attorney at the U.S. attorney's office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania during that period. She has a law degree from Pennsylvania State University.

Conclusion

Several immigration courts received significant numbers of new immigration judges. The Los Angeles Immigration Court led the way with nine judges, bringing the size of its bench to 34. The Fort Worth Immigration Adjudication Center received seven new judges, bringing its total to nine. The four new immigration judges of the LaSalle Immigration Court bring the size of that bench to five. Several other larger immigration courts received multiple judges. Furthermore, it is worth noting that two courts received supervisory immigration judges.

In terms of experience, a significant number of the new judges have prosecutorial experience, experience with ICE, or experience as military judges and lawyers. 19 of the new immigration judges worked in some capacity for ICE and sixteen with the Department of Justice. Nine served as military lawyers, including for the U.S. Coast Guard and National Guard.

We wish the new immigration judges the best of luck in their new positions.

Picture: 
EOIR Swears in 46 New Immigration Judges in Largest Ever Investiture Ceremony