Every summer the Immigration Judges from around the country meet in suburban Washington D.C. for a training session. The training materials are interesting, because they help us understand the IJs’ thinking on specific issues. The 2018 conference was held at the Sheraton in Tysons Corner, VA. Jeff Sessions gave a speech at this conference which, for many observing, raised serious questions about his lack of willingness to allow IJs to make independent judgments. He also talked about his decision in Matter of A-B- which he published later that day.

After the conference in 2018 I requested the training materials, handouts, slides, program, and schedule. This is what I received in response:

Program Schedule

Cancellation of Removal:

Summary of IJ Procedures for Adjudicating Non LPR Cancellation

Claims to U.S. Citizenship:

Slides – Resolving Claims to United States Citizenship Recent Updates and Adjudication Challenges

Evidentiary Challenges in Immigration Court:

Immigration Law – Evidentiary Challenges for Appellate Adjudication in the Digital Age 2018

Slides – Evidentiary Challenges – Admissibility, Weight, Reliability, and Impeachment

Evidentiary Issues – Assessing Evidentiary Weight – Circuit Court Case Law Summaries

Evidentiary Issues – Reliability of Government Documents – Circuit Court Case Law Summaries

Developments in Criminal Immigration and Bond Law:

Slides – Developments in Criminal Immigration and Bond Law

This presentation is really striking, because Board Member Roger Pauley appears to be instructing the IJs not to apply the “categorical approach” when it doesn’t lead to a “sensible result.” The “categorical approach” is mandatory, and the Supreme Court has repeatedly had to reverse the BIA and instruct them to properly apply it.  So, it’s definitely disheartening to see this is the instruction the IJs received at their conference this summer on how to apply the categorical approach:


Advanced Adjudication Issues in Asylum Law: 

Slides – Advanced Adjudication Issues in Asylum Law An Examination of the One-Year Bar

Mendez-Rojas v Johnson, —FSupp3d—, 2018 WL 1532715, (W.D. Wash, March 28, 2018)

Advanced Criminal Immigration Issues: 

The Evolving Interpretation of the Categorical Approaches – ILA Jan 2017

If you look at the schedule, you’ll see there are a number of sessions for which we did not receive any materials. I’m not sure what that means. It’s possible there were no prepared remarks, no slides, no handouts, and no materials for the presentation. I think it’s more likely that there are additional materials that haven’t been produced, so we’ll be following up with EOIR to see if we can get the rest.