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IFPTE/NAIJ Calls for Immediate Action after Department of Justice Circulates Racist, Antisemitic Attacks against U.S. Immigration Judges


For immediate release, August 23, 2019
Contact: Roger Kerson,, 734.645.0535;
Jamie Horwitz,, 202/549-4921

Union Calls for Immediate Action after Department of Justice Circulates
Racist, Antisemitic Attacks against
U.S. Immigration Judges

Washington – The U.S. Department of Justice must take immediate action to remove links in an official DOJ newsletter to a racist, antisemitic attack against U.S. immigration judges, said IFPTE President Paul Shearon.

“It is shocking and outrageous that a vile, racist attack against distinguished jurists was linked and distributed from an official U.S. government publication,” said Shearon. “The Department of Justice is supposed to enforce our nation’s laws against ethnic, racial and religious discrimination, not fan the flames of such hatred.”

IFPTE is the parent union of the National Association of Immigration Judges (NAIJ). At issue is a link in a U.S. Department of Justice newsletter, sent this week to employees of DOJ’s Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR). Under DOJ letterhead, the newsletter linked to a white nationalist website which published racist and ethnic slurs targeting Judge Ashley Tabaddor and Judge Amiena Khan.

Judge Tabaddor, who is of Iranian descent, and Judge Khan, who is of Pakistani descent, are both U.S. immigration judges. Tabaddor is the president and Khan is the executive vice president of the National Association of Immigration Judges, the union representing 440 judges in U.S. immigration courts.

The article linked by DOJ refers to both Judge Tabaddor and Judge Khan as “kritarch.” This is an anti-Semitic trope referring to a period of rule by judges described in the Old Testament. The post was written in support of an effort by the U.S. Department of Justice to decertify the NAIJ as the union for immigration judges.

“Our union certainly has the right enemies,” said Shearon. “This horrible attempt at ethnic intimidation shows exactly why immigration judges – like other highly skilled technical and professional workers – need a voice on the job. We are committed to stand together against any attempt to harass or threaten our members.”

In addition to removing the offensive link, said Shearon, the DOJ must apologize to everyone who received it, take steps to ensure no such material is ever distributed again in an official U.S. government publication, and provide appropriate safety and security to U.S. immigration judges.

On behalf of NAIJ, Judge Tabaddor has also responded in writing to EOIR Director James McHenry. A copy of her letter is available on the IFPTE website [see below].

Across the nation, IFPTE represents 80,000 highly-skilled, white-collar workers in both the public and private sectors. The union is an affiliate of the AFL-CIO. More information can be found at

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Additional coverage of NAIJ and the DOJ's attacks on the Immigration Judges' union rights and judicial independence can be found here.


Read the letter from NAIJ President, Judge Ashley Tabaddor, to EOIR Director James McHenry here.

Download this Press Release here.

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