The DOJ Emailed Immigration Judges A Link To A Racist Website

The US Department of Justice flag is seen in Washington, DC, on July 22, 2019. (Photo by Alastair Pike / AFP) (Photo credit should read ALASTAIR PIKE/AFP/Getty Images)
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August 22, 2019 5:59 p.m.
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The Department of Justice sent immigration court employees a link to a white nationalist website in an email this week, sparking an outraged response from an immigration judges’ union that was mentioned in the article.

The email, a morning news briefing, contained a link to a story about the National Association of Immigration Judges (NAIJ) on the website VDare, which frequently publishes nativist and white nationalist material. BuzzFeed News first reported the email Thursday.

In a letter to the director of the DOJ’s Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR), the leader of NAIJ blasted the DOJ for sending the link.

The story “features links and content that directly attacks sitting immigration judges with racial and ethnically tinged slurs and the label ‘Kritarch,'” the president of the NAIJ, Ashley Tabaddor, wrote to James McHenry, director of EOIR.

NAIJ’s parent union, the International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers, later posted Tabaddor’s letter online.

The term “kritarch” is frequently used in VDare articles. Tabaddor wrote that it described ancient Israel when it was ruled by judges, and asserted that the article used it in a “deeply offensive and Anti-Semitic” context.

“VDare’s use of the term in a pejorative manner casts Jewish history in a negative light as an Anti-Semitic trope of Jews seeking power and control,” she wrote.

EOIR Assistant Press Secretary Kathryn Mattingly told TPM in a statement that the news briefings “are compiled by a contractor and the blog post should not have been included. The Department of Justice condemns Anti-Semitism in the strongest terms.”

Immigration judges, unlike other federal judges, are Executive Branch employees rather than Judicial Branch employees — though the union has argued that that should change. Earlier this month, the Trump administration petitioned the Federal Labor Relations Authority to decertify the immigration judges union entirely.

This post was updated on Friday, Aug. 23.

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