Most people may not be aware that immigration judges had a union from 1979 to 2020. Last year, the Federal Labor Relations Authority decertified it because the job description of “judge” means they make policy decisions and should be considered management.
The Biden Administration has now come out and said they will not fight the recertification of the union. At the same time, Democrats in the House have been campaigning for Attorney Garland Merrick Garland to do just that. They see the desertification as only something that Trump would do, but this was attempted by the Clinton administration.
Here, via a press release, is the reasoning that the FLRA saw to even consider the desertification of the union.
In the attached decision and order (decision), Federal Labor Relations Authority Regional Director Jessica S. Bartlett (the RD) denied the Agency’s petition to clarify the bargaining unit (the unit) to exclude all immigration judges (IJs) on the grounds that they are management officials and therefore not appropriate unit members under § 7112(b)(1) of the Federal Service Labor-Management Relations Statute (Statute). The RD found that changed circumstances existed to support a re-examination of the Authority’s finding that the unit could include IJs. Despite the changed circumstances, the RD found that the unit was still appropriate because IJs are not management officials. The Agency filed an application for review of the RD’s decision. After a thorough review of the record, including the Union’s opposition and the amicus curiae from the Association of Administrative Law Judges, the Authority finds that existing case law warrants reconsideration. As such, we grant the application for review, find that IJs are management officials, and, therefore, exclude them from the bargaining unit.”
Democrats in the House decided this needs to go back to the way it was and started lobbying on behalf of the National Association of Immigration Judges. Despite the fact that these men and women do the same job as any other judge and have the same power, they want to be able to collectively bargain and lobby Congress.
While the judges are considered employees of the Department of Justice, they make decisions that shape the lives of people. The only difference between them and members of the judiciary is that they are employees of the DOJ.
These judges claim their working conditions are intolerable, even though they get paid higher than the average citizen and have all the benefits of a government employee. They want the immigration courts to become separate from the DOJ, which should be done to change how they are handled.
This will mean the NAIJ will go away. There should be no union for any government employee. They have stronger protections than any normal worker in the United States, with the civil service rules. They get paid more than the actual citizen. This is another example of where people think they are victims when they are not.
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