Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Continued Criticism of Immigration Judge Jeffrey Chase

The Second Circuit heavily criticized IJ Jeffrey Chase again in Ba v. Gonzales (2d Cir. Feb. 21, 2007) (summary order):
We note with concern that, based on the transcript, the tone of this
proceeding is consistent with previous proceedings conducted by this IJ that
have drawn rebuke from this Court. See Islam v. Gonzales, 469 F.3d 53, 56-57
& n.3 (2d Cir. 2006). Here, as they have in other hearings, IJ Chase’s
demeanor and remarks “erode the appearance of fairness and call into question
the results of the proceeding.”1 Id. at 56; see also Guo-Le Huang v. Gonzales,
453 F.3d 142, 150 (2d Cir. 2006). In this same vein, we note one incident in the
hearing that is disturbing because it implicates the attorney-client privilege.
IJ Chase inquired directly of Ba about the communication between Ba and his
attorney: “Did you lie to Mr. Wuestman, yes or no?” Regardless of the relevance
of the inquiry and the answer, it is inconceivable that IJ Chase, as a judge and
lawyer, would not know the impropriety of that question. Accordingly, we request
that the case be assigned to a different IJ on remand. Moreover, given this
Court’s history with IJ Chase, it may improve judicial efficiency if, as
discussed at oral argument, the BIA, sua sponte, closely re-examined all of his
cases that are still on appeal, having in mind our previouslyexpressed

The New York Times wrote an article about this case on Sunday, February 25. It is quite an unusual thing for any court to say!


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