Mimi Tsankov, president of the National Association of Immigration Judges (NAIJ), has accused the Biden administration of “doubling down” on the Trump administration’s efforts to freeze out their association even as they struggle with a backlog of almost 1.5 million court cases and staff shortages, which exacerbate due process concerns in their courts, reports The Guardian. Tsankov said that Biden’s Department of Justice would not negotiate with her members despite the US president vocally and frequently touting his support for workers’ representation.
Donald Trump capped four years of right-wing immigration policy by successfully petitioning to strip hundreds of immigration judges of their right to unionize on 2 November 2020, the day before the presidential election. While the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) – home to the country’s immigration courts – withdrew opposition to the NAIJ’s motion for reconsideration, Tsankov said the administration was still refusing to negotiate. In an upcoming hearing, the union accuses EOIR of “interfering with, restraining and coercing employees in the exercise of their rights” to organize and “refusing to negotiate in good faith.” Administration officials went so far as to file a motion to dismiss the NAIJ’s grievances about unfair labor practices, though the motion was denied.