Justice Department's chief immigration judge, a Trump appointee, resigns

Tracy Short served as agency's chief judge since 2020

Updated: July 22, 2022 - 10:33am

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The Justice Department’s top immigration judge and a Trump administration appointee has resigned.

Tracy Short, who since June 2020 has served as chief immigration judge of the Justice Department’s Executive Office for Immigration Review, announced Thursday, in a message to fellow immigration judges, that he will be leaving at the end of the month.

He was appointed to the post by then-Attorney General William Barr.  

Short did not provide an explanation. The Washington Times, based on information from sources, reports he resigned because the Biden administration cut him out of decision making as it pursues more relaxed illegal immigrants policy. 

Another potential reason is the massive number of cases he and roughly 600 federal immigration judges face.

The judges' backlog of immigration cases has tripled to 1.8 million since 2017. And cases for people who are not detained take several years to resolve, according to the Associated Press.

Sen. Chuck Grassley and Rep. Jim Jordan, top Republicans, respectively, on the Senate and House Judiciary committees, wrote Attorney General Merrick Garland last week, prior to Short’s resignation, about news reports of "multiple" judges appointed during the Trump administration recently being ousted.

They argue some of the departures were "the result of a coordinated effort between the Biden-Harris administration and far-left immigration advocates."