The U.S. Department of Justice's Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) swore in 23 new immigration judges, bringing the total number of judges in the immigration courts to 351.
The hiring and installation of the new judges is part of a series of reforms proposed by U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions last year to improve and streamline the processing of cases in immigration courts.
Part of these reforms includes a "optimized recruitment plan". which imposes clear timelines for processing immigration judge candidates, thus decreasing the time from identification and hiring to swearing in new judges.
Because of this effort, some of the 23 sworn immigration judges were hired in approximately 266 days, compared to an average of 742 days the previous year.
EOIR anticipates that at least 75 more immigration judges will be hired before the end of the year.
The 23 new judges are: Stuart D. Alcorn, Robert A. Fellrath, Kathleen French, Daniel B. Gilbert, Lena Golovnin, Cynthia Gordon, Nathan L. Herbert, Howard C. Hom, Natalie B. Huddleston, David C. Koelsch, W. Scott Laragy, Zakia Mahasa, Michael G. McFarland, Patrick M. McKenna, Nancy E. Miller, Angela Munson, Jonathan W. Owens, Kaarina Salovaara, Eric J. Tijerina, Nelson A. Vargas-Padilla, Michael G. Walleisa, George J. Ward Jr. and Jason R. Waterloo.