Retired judges sign letter accusing DOJ of wrongfully interfering with deportation case

Paul Kurtz
August 02, 2018 - 3:33 pm
Attorney General Jeff Sessions holds a sheet of paper containing text related to questioning by Sen. Al Frankenfrom Sessions' confirmation hearing in 2017 before the House Judiciary Committee during an oversight hearing on the Department of Justice.

Jack Gruber-USA TODAY

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PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — Immigration advocates and judicial officials are outraged at the Department of Justice for interfering in a deportation case that is being heard in Philadelphia. 

The DOJ took action after Judge Steven Morley requested additional information about the case of Reynaldo Castro-Tum, a 21-year-old Guatemalan man who came to this country unaccompanied four years ago. 

The replacement judge, Deepali Nadkarni, an assistant chief immigration judge, immediately ordered Castro-Tum be sent back to his native land, which prompted 15 retired judges to sign on to a letter of protest, calling the removal "interference with judicial independence."

City Councilwoman Helen Gym, a staunch supporter of immigration rights, released a statement calling Morley's removal a "gross abuse of power" and "an assault on democracy."

The DOJ has declined comment.