Immigration judges hit back at Sessions for suggesting they show too much sympathy

Immigration judges hit back at Sessions for suggesting they show too much sympathy
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A union representing the country's 350 immigration judges slammed Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsPress: Acosta, latest to walk the plank The Hill's Morning Report — Trump retreats on census citizenship question Alabama senator says Trump opposed to Sessions Senate bid MORE for comments he made that suggested they were sidestepping the law and showing too much sympathy when handling certain cases.

“When we depart from the law and create nebulous legal standards out of a sense of sympathy for the personal circumstances of a respondent in our immigration courts, we do violence to the rule of law and constitutional fabric that bind this great nation," Sessions said Monday in a speech to newly hired judges. "Your job is to apply the law — even in tough cases."

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Immigration judges, who work for the Department of Justice and are expected to follow guidelines laid out by the attorney general, said they believe Sessions was politicizing migrant cases.

“The reality is that it is a political statement which does not articulate a legal concept that judges are required to be aware of and follow,” Dana Marks, a spokeswoman for the National Association of Immigration Judges and an immigration judge in San Francisco, told BuzzFeed News. “It did appear to be a one-sided argument made by a prosecutor.”

Ashley Tabaddor, president of the National Association of Immigration Judges, added that “we cannot possibly be put in this bind of being accountable to someone who is so clearly committed to the prosecutorial role."

Sessions, an ideological ally of President TrumpDonald John TrumpEsper sidesteps question on whether he aligns more with Mattis or Trump Warren embraces Thiel label: 'Good' As tensions escalate, US must intensify pressure on Iran and the IAEA MORE on immigration, has established additional restrictions on the types of cases that qualify for asylum and when certain cases can be suspended. He was involved in the White House’s controversial “zero tolerance” policy that led to family separations at the U.S.-Mexico border.