The Justice Department's daily briefing to all immigration court employees Monday contained a link to an article on a white nationalist site that "directly attacks sitting immigration judges with racial and ethnically tinged slurs," according to a letter sent Thursday by the National Association of Immigration Judges union. The linked post, from the website VDARE, detailed the Justice Department's efforts to strip immigration judges of their right to be represented by a union, BuzzFeed News reports.
Immigration judges are part of the Justice Department, and their union has pushed to make the immigration courts independent, The Associated Press reports. The judges say the DOJ push to strip them of union representation is an attempt to silence criticism.
The NAIJ supports VDARE's free speech rights, but "the publication and dissemination of a white supremacist, Anti-Semitic website ... is antithetical to the goals and ideals of the Department of Justice," union president Ashley Tabbador wrote to James McHenry, the director of the Justice Department's Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR). The union "received numerous complaints from judges across the nation who found the blog offensive," she added, requesting that the post be withdrawn and apologies issued to all EOIR employees, especially the judges mentioned in the post.
Late Thursday, EOIR Assistant Press Secretary Kathryn Mattingly said in a statement that the "morning 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."