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The Justice Department may have changed its rules for hiring immigration judges, but that is not enough to satisfy Guadalupe Gonzalez, the El Paso, Texas-based lawyer who sued the agency when it passed her over for a slot on the bench. Though both sides have been in settlement talks since Judge Emmet Sullivan of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia refused to dismiss Gonzalez’s suit last September, talks broke down last week, says Gonzalez’s lawyer Charles Day of Gebhardt & Associates. “It’s regrettable that the attorney general has not decided to correct this egregious error,” says Day, who plans to take the case to trial. Gonzalez’s suit challenges the attorney general’s authority to directly hire immigration judges without any competitive selection — something Gonzalez contends led the agency to choose two white men over her, a Hispanic female and superior of the two men at Immigration and Customs Enforcement. The practice has come under fire as one of the mechanisms that allowed the department to put political hires in these career immigration judge slots. The suit ultimately led to the freeze in hiring immigration judges late last year and the reinstatement of the competitive selection process in April.
Emma Schwartz can be contacted at [email protected].

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