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Judge files suit over immigration discrimination innuendo

A, Iranian-American judge who has held her position on the bench in the U.S. Immigration Court since 2005 was ordered to recuse herself from hearing any cases involving her native countrymen. Though her conduct on the bench has been unimpeachable, the Department of Justice may have alluded to reverse immigration discrimination. This federal lawsuit may be of interest to immigrants in North Carolina residents because the outcome could impact how immigration cases are handled throughout the country.

The judge, who has referred to herself as a proud Persian, apparently received an email that recommended that she refrain from presiding over any hearings that involve Iranian immigrants. The judge asserted in her official complaint that she received permission to attend a conference for Iranian-Americans in 2012. Shortly after that event, she received the email notification. When she protested the suggestion, the Department of Justice changed it to an order of recusal.

There are currently more than 300 cases involving Iranian citizens that have been delayed. It is unclear whether the judge's removal from those cases has led to the backlog, but it is known that cases were removed from her docket and reassigned. The judge is actively pursuing her case against the DOJ, in part due to a comment made by one official that the request that she recuse herself could be classified as discrimination and that he would not have permitted the order to be issued.

There has been no evidence presented at this time that the judge ever mishandled an immigration case. Her spokesperson has called the order completely unprecedented in nature. Those living in North Carolina, regardless of nationality, are entitled to a fair and impartial treatment whenever they have dealings with public officials or law enforcement. Unfortunately, immigration discrimination is not uncommon, and those who believe they have suffered such treatment are ensured the right to seek assistance in these matters and to be treated fairly and impartially under the law.

Source:, "Immigration Judge Sues Justice Department for Anti-Iranian Discrimination", Ryan Lovelace, Aug. 22, 2014

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