Saturday, May 09, 2009

Seventh Circuit Seriously Criticizes Immigration Judge O. John Brahos

In Castilho de Oliviera v. Holder, No. 07-3307 (7th Cir. May 8, 2009), the Seventh Circuit seriously criticized IJ O. John Brahos. In the case, the Seventh Circuit concluded that the immigrant did not receive a fair hearing before a neutral immigration judge because IJ Brahos repeatedly interrupted to ask irrelevant and sometimes inflammatory questions, refused to consider important evidence, and decided the case without seriously engaging with the evidence in the record.

The Seventh Circuit got the impression that the IJ cared little about the evidence and applied whatever rationale he could muster to justify a predetermined outcome.

But there's more -- in footnote 4 at the end of the case, the Seventh Circuit explained that it previously called into question similar behavior by IJ Brahos in other cases, such as factual error, bootless speculation, and errors of logic in Pramatarov v. Gonzales, 454 F.3d 764 (7th Cir. 2006). That same case noted questioning so harsh and rude as to suggest bias. In another case, conduct was unseemly, intemperate, and even mocking, according to the Seventh Circuit in Apouviepseakoda v. Gonzales, 475 F.3d 881 (7th Cir. 2007).

In the view of the Seventh Circuit, "that it continues is inexplicable."