EOIR Swears in 28 New Immigration Judges on Oct. 20, 2019

by Alexander J. Segal on Jan. 06, 2020

Immigration Immigration  Deportation Immigration  Visa 

Summary: On December 20, 2019, the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) invested 28 new immigration judges in a ceremony presided over by Acting Chief Immigration Judge Christopher A. Santoro. The 28 new immigration judges were selected by Attorney General William P. Barr.

immigration attorney nycIntroduction

On December 20, 2019, the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) invested 28 new immigration judges in a ceremony presided over by Acting Chief Immigration Judge Christopher A. Santoro [PDF version]. The 28 new immigration judges were selected by Attorney General William P. Barr. The EOIR noted that the immigration judge corps — now numbering over 465 — is at its largest size in history.

In this article, we will briefly examine the biographies of the 28 new immigration judges, sorted by the courts on which they serve. Please see our index of posts on new immigration judges to read about other members of the immigration judge corps sworn in over the past several years [see index].

Abbreviations

In this article, we will use several abbreviations in place of the full names of offices which appear in the biographies of several of the new immigration judges.

- Department of Justice (DOJ)
- Office of Immigration Litigation (OIL)
- Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR)
- Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA)
- Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS)
- Department of Homeland Security (DHS)
- Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)
- U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)
- Refugee, Asylum, and International Operations (RAIO)
- Office of the Principal Legal Advisor (OPLA)
- Office of Chief Counsel (OCC)

Courts Receiving New Judges

The 28 new immigration judges serve on 18 immigration courts across the country. The following is the full list of courts receiving judges along with the number of new judges:

Atlanta, Ted Turner Drive Immigration Court (4); Batavia Immigration Court (1); Boston Immigration Court (1); Chicago Immigration Court (1); Cleveland Immigration Court (2); Houston Immigration Court (1); Houston, S. Gessner Road Immigration Court (2); Imperial Immigration Court (1); Los Angeles Immigration Court (2); Los Angeles North Immigration Court (1); Los Angeles, Van Nuys Blvd. Immigration Court (1); New York, Federal Plaza Immigration Court (4); New York, Varick Immigration Court (1); Otay Mesa Immigration Court (1); Sacramento Immigration Court (2); Stewart Immigration Court (1); Ulster Immigration Court (1); York Immigration Court (1).

Below, we will list the courts in alphabetical order along with short biographies of the new judges.

Please see our short posts on the new Los Angeles, Van Nuys Blvd. [see blog] and Houston, S. Gessner Road [see blog] immigration courts, both of which welcome new judges from the December 20th investiture.

Atlanta, Ted Turner Drive Immigration Court (Georgia)

Philip A. Barr, Immigration Judge, Atlanta, Ted Turner Drive Immigration Court

- 2015-2019: Assistant chief counsel, OCC, OPLA, ICE, DHS, in Atlanta, Georgia.
- 2010-2015: Assistant chief counsel, OCC, OPLA, ICE, DHS in Port Isabel and San Antonio, Texas.
- 2004-2010: Private practice as an immigration and criminal defense attorney.
- Law degree from Birmingham School of Law in 2003.

James J. Crofts, Immigration Judge, Atlanta, Ted Turner Drive Immigration Court

- 2016-2019: Assistant chief counsel, OCC, OPLA, ICE, DHS, in Atlanta.
- 2000-2016: Assistant district attorney with the Office of the Bronx District Attorney, in Bronx, New York.
- 2012-Present: Judge advocate for the U.S. Army Reserve.
- Law degree from St. John's University of Law in 1999.

Sheila E. Gallow, Immigration Judge, Atlanta, Ted Turner Drive Immigration Court

- 2016-2019: Assistant chief counsel, OCC, OPLA, ICE, DHS, in Atlanta.
- 2011-2016: Chief assistant district attorney in the Atlanta Judicial Circuit.
- 2007-2011: Assistant attorney general with the Office of Georgia Attorney General, in Atlanta.
- 2012-Present: Judge advocate with the U.S. Army Reserves.
- Law degree from Samford University in 2006.

Philip P. Taylor, Immigration Judge, Atlanta, Ted Turner Drive Immigration Court

- 2000-2019: Chief municipal judge for the City of Kennesaw, Acworth, Powder Springs, and Woodstock, Georgia.
- 1996-2016: Magistrate judge, in Cobb County, Georgia.
- 1989-2012: Private practice.
- Law degree from Emory University School of Law.

Batavia Immigration Court (New York)

Susan F. Aikman, Immigration Judge, Batavia Immigration Court

- 2018-2019: Deputy chief counsel, OCC, OPLA, ICE, DHS in Dilley and Pearsall, Texas.
- 2015-2018: Assistant chief counsel, OCC, OPLA, ICE, DHS, in Pearsall Texas.
- 2005-2015: Asylum officer, refugee officer, and field office director with RAIO, USCIS, DHS, in the U.S. and international locations.
- 1999-2005: Private practice.
- Law degree from the University of Toledo, College of Law, in 1999.

Boston Immigration Court (Massachusetts)

Marna M. Rusher, Immigration Judge, Boston Immigration Court

- 2007-2019: Assistant chief counsel, OCC, OPLA, ICE, DHS, in Boston.
- 2005-2007: Private practice.
- 2002-2005: Assistant district attorney, in Middlesex County, Massachusetts.

Chicago Immigration Court (Illinois)

Samia Naseem, Immigration Judge, Chicago Immigration Court

- 2010-2019: Assistant chief counsel, OCC, OPLA, ICE, DHS, in New York City and Chicago.
- 2007-2010: Trial attorney with the Office of Immigration Litigation, DOJ, in the District of Columbia.
- 2005-2007: Private practice.
- 2004-2005: Judicial law clerk for Judge Judith N. Macaluso in the District of Columbia.
- Law degree from The George Washington University Law School in 2004.

Cleveland Immigration Court (Ohio)

Bruce D. Imbacuan, Immigration Judge, Cleveland Immigration Court

- 2007-2019: Assistant chief counsel, OCC, OPLA, ICE, DHS, in Cleveland.
- 2005-2007: Housing court magistrate for the Cleveland Municipal Housing Court.
- 2002-2005: Assistant prosecuting prosecutor with the City of Cleveland's Prosecutor's Office.
- 1998-2002: Staff attorney for the Legal Aid Society of Cleveland.
- Law degree from Temple University School of Law in 1998.

Jeremy J. Santoro, Immigration Judge, Cleveland Immigration Court

- 2010-2019: Assistant chief counsel, OCC, OPLA, ICE, DHS, in Cleveland.
- 2009-2010: Assistant chief counsel, OCC, OPLA, ICE, DHS, in Detroit, Michigan.
- 2006-2015: Judge advocate for the Ohio Army National Guard, in Columbus, Ohio.
- 2002-2009: Assistant prosecutor with the Lucas County Prosecutor's Office, in Toledo, Ohio.
- 2001-2002: Private practice.
- Law degree from the University of Toledo College of Law in 2001.

Houston Immigration Court (Texas)

Lynn W. Wang, Immigration Judge, Houston Immigration Court

- 2018-2019: Assistant chief counsel, OCC, OPLA, ICE, DHS, in San Antonio.
- 2015-2018: Assistant U.S. attorney with the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of Texas, in McAllen, Texas.
- 2007-2015: Assistant U.S. attorney with the U.S Attorney's Office for the District of New Mexico, in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
- 2004-2006: Assistant district attorney for the State of New Mexico.
- 2001-2004: Private practice.
- Law degree from South Texas College of Law in 2000.

Houston, S. Gessner Road Immigration Court (Texas)

Kevin L. Brown, Immigration Judge, Houston, S. Gessner Road Immigration Court

- 2016-2019: Assistant chief counsel, OCC, OPLA, ICE, DHS, in San Antonio, Texas.
- 1999-2016: Judge advocate for the U.S. Army.
- Law degree from Wake Forest University School of Law in 1999; Master of Laws from the Judge Advocate's Legal Center and School, U.S. Army in 2007.

Miguel A. Cordero-Gonzalez, Immigration Judge, Houston S. Gessner Road Immigration Court

- 2010-2019: State trial court judge, in Puerto Rico.
- 1996-2019: Judge advocate for the U.S. Army Reserve.
- 2015-2016: Senior defense counsel for the 154th Trial Defense Team, Southeast region in Fort Buchanan, Puerto Rico.
- 1995-2009: Private practice.
- 1994-1995: Assistant secretary to the secretary of the Puerto Rico Department of Consumer Affairs Office.
- Law degree from the Pontifical Catholic University School of Law in 1993.

Imperial Immigration Court (California)

Eugene H. Robinson, Immigration Judge, Imperial Immigration Court

- 2018-2019: Deputy chief for hearings in the State Office of Administrative Hearings for the State of Texas.
- 2012-2018; 2005-2011: Military judge.
- 2011-2012: Staff judge advocate for the 3d Marine Logistics Group, Okinawa, Japan.
- 1991-2005: Judge advocate in the U.S. Marine Corps.
- Law degree from Howard University School of Law in 1990; Master of Laws from the U.S. Army Judge Advocate General's Legal Center and School in 2002.

Los Angeles Immigration Court (California)

Dale E. Anderson, Immigration Judge, Los Angeles Immigration Court

- 2016-2019: Trial attorney for the Office of International Affairs, Criminal Division, DOJ.
- 2009-2016; 2002-2004: Supervisory attorney advisor and attorney advisor for the BIA, EOIR, DOJ.
- 2004-2009; 1994-2000: Judge advocate for the U.S. Marine Corps.
- 2000-2002: Assistant district counsel with the former INS, DOJ, in Imperial, California.
- 1988-1991: Intelligence officer for the U.S. Marine Corps.
- Law degree from Pepperdine University School of Law in 1994; Master of Laws from the University of San Diego School of Law in 1997.

Andrea H. Hong, Immigration Judge, Los Angeles Immigration Court

- 2009-2019: Assistant chief counsel, OCC, OPLA, ICE, DHS, in Los Angeles.
- 2006-2009: Deputy district attorney with the Riverside County Attorney's Office, in Riverside, California.
- 2001-2004: Assistant prosecutor with the Summit County Prosecutor's Office, in Akron, Ohio.
- 1999-2001: Assistant city prosecutor with the Akron City Prosecutor's Office, in Akron, Ohio.
- Law degree from the University of Akron, School of Law in 1999.

Los Angeles North Immigration Court (California)

Lily C. Hsu, Immigration Judge, Los Angeles North Immigration Court

- 2006-2019: Assistant chief counsel, OCC, OPLA, ICE, DHS, in Los Angeles.
- 2009-2011: Special assistant U.S. attorney at the U.S Attorney's Office for the Central District of California, in Los Angeles.
- 2004-2006: Asylum officer with the USCIS, DHS, in Anaheim, California.
- 2001-2004: Private practice.
- Law degree from California Western School of Law in 2000.

Los Angeles, Van Nuys Blvd. Immigration Court (California)

Brian H. Burke, Immigration Judge, Los Angeles, Van Nuys Blvd. Immigration Court

- 2017-2019: Chief Judge for the Morongo Band of Mission Indians, in California.
- 2013-2019: Chief Judge for the Ak-Chin Indian Community, in Maricopa, Arizona.
- 2010-2013: Tribal prosecutor for the Ak-Chin Indian Community, in Maricopa, Arizona.
- 2009-2010: Deputy defense attorney for the Salt River Prima-Maricopa Indian Community, in Scottsdale, Arizona.
- 2006-2009: Managing attorney for Community Legal Services, in Kingman, Arizona.
- 2003-2006: Rights attorney for the Nevada Disability Advocacy and Law Center, in Las Vegas.
- 2000-2003: Assistant public defender in Beaver, Pennsylvania.
- 1999-2000: Staff attorney for Appalachian Legal Services, in Charleston, West Virginia.
- 1992-1995; 1997-1998: Assistant district attorney for the Beaver County District Attorney's Office.
- Law degree from the University of Dayton School of Law in 1992.

New York, Federal Plaza Immigration Court

Jennifer Cheung, Immigration Judge, New York, Federal Plaza Immigration Court

- 2008-2019: Private practice.
- Law degree from Hofstra University School of Law in 2007.

Diane L. Dodd, Immigration Judge, New York, Federal Plaza Immigration Court

- 2016-2019: Special assistant U.S. attorney for the District of Minnesota, DOJ, in Minneapolis.
- 2010-2019: Assistant chief counsel, OCC, OPLA, ICE, DHS.
- 1999-2010: Assistant district attorney in the District Attorney's Office, in Brunswick, Georgia.
- Law degree from Lewis and Clark College, Northwestern School of Law in 1990.

John J. Siemietkowski, Immigration Judge, New York, Federal Plaza Immigration Court

- 2002-2019: Trial attorney at the Commercial Litigation Branch, Department of Justice, in the District of Columbia.
- 2018-2018: U.S. deputy justice attaché to Afghanistan.
- Retired from the U.S. Army in 2018 after serving for nearly three decades as an active duty and reserve JAG attorney.
- Law degree from Catholic University in 1987; Master of Law from the Army Judge Advocate General's School in 2000.

Rantideva Singh, Immigration Judge, New York, Federal Plaza Immigration Court

- 2011-2019: Administrative law judge with the New York State Office of Children and Family Services, in New York City.
- 2009-2011: Trial attorney with the New York City Administration for Children's Services in Bronx Family Court.
- 2007-2009: Supervising attorney with the New York City Department of Homeless Services.
- 1997-2002: Police officer in the New York City Police Department.
- Law degree from Boston University School of Law in 2005.

New York, Varick Immigration Court

David A. Norkin, Immigration Judge, New York, Varick Immigration Court

- 2019: Court administrator for the Fishkill, Ulster, and Varick Immigration Courts.
- 1999-2016: Judge advocate, defense counsel, prosecutor, special assistant U.S. attorney, and appellate military judge.
- Law degree from The George Washington University Law School in 1999.

Otay Mesa Immigration Court (California)

Amelia C. Anderson, Immigration Judge, Otay Mesa Immigration Court

- 2010-2019: Assistant chief counsel, OCC, OPLA, ICE, DHS, in San Diego, California.
- 2017-2018: Special assistant U.S. attorney at the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of California in San Diego.
- 2009-2010: Attorney advisor at the San Diego Immigration Court, EOIR, DOJ.
- Law degree from DePaul University College of Law in 2009.

Sacramento Immigration Court (California)

Christopher V. Phan, Immigration Judge, Sacramento Immigration Court

- 2000-2019: Judge advocate for the U.S. Navy.
- 2012-2016: City counsel member in Garden Grove, Californa; Deputy district attorney in Orange County, California.
- Law degree from Southern Illinois University in 1999.

Gilda M. Terrazas, Immigration Judge, Sacramento Immigration Court

- 2010-2019: Assistant chief counsel, OCC, OPLA, ICE, DHS, in Phoenix and Tucson, Arizona.
- 2008-2010: Public defender in Cochise County, Arizona.
- 1995-2008: Municipal and tribal court judge, in Tucson, Arizona.
- 1988-1995: Private practice.
- Law degree from The University of Arizona, James E. Rogers College of Law in 1988.

Stewart Immigration Court (Georgia)

Bianca H. Brown, Immigration Judge, Stewart Immigration Court

- 2018-2019: Deputy chief counsel, OCC, OPLA, ICE, DHS, in Lumpkin, Georgia.
- 2011-2018: Assistant chief counsel, OCC, OPLA, ICE, DHS, in Lumpkin, Georgia.
- Law degree from Wake Forest University School of Law in 2011.

Ulster Immigration Court (New York)

Ubaid ul-Haq, Immigration Judge, Ulster Immigration Court

- 2019-2019: Trial attorney with the OIL's Appellate Court Section, Civil Division, DOJ, in the District of Columbia.
- 2014-2019: Trial attorney with OIL's District Court Section, Civil Division, DOK.
- 2016-Present: Judge advocate with the U.S. Army Reserve, in Alexandria, Virginia.
- 2014-2014: Associate legal advisor, Executive Communication's Unit, OCC, OPLA, ICE, DHS, in the District of Columbia.
- 2011-2014: Assistant chief counsel, OPLA-San Antonio, ICE, DHS, in Pearsall, Texas.
- Law degree from Nova Southeastern University in 2010; Master of Laws from American University Washington College of Law in 2011.

York Immigration Court (Pennsylvania)

Matthew H. Watters, Immigration Judge, York Immigration Court

- Currently serves as judge advocate in the U.S. Army Reserve and as a deputy commander in the U.S. Army Reserve Legal Command.
- 2010-2019: Assistant U.S. attorney and supervisory assistant U.S. attorney in the Western District of Texas.
- 2003-2010: Judge advocate for the U.S. Army.
- Law degree from Pennsylvania State University, Dickinson School of Law in 2002.

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