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NC Judge Promoted to Board of Immigration Appeals

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A North Carolina immigration judge who’s known for frequently deporting asylum cases has been appointed to the Board of Immigration Appeals. 

Attorney General William Barr on Friday promoted six immigration judges to the board, all of whom have high denial rates. Judge Stuart Couch of Charlotte is one of the new appeals judges, who now make up more than a quarter of the appellate board. 

Judge Couch has a denial rate of 92 percent -- which is significantly higher than the national rate of 58 percent. His denials include a case BPR first covered in May.  The figures come from Syracuse University’s Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse, which tracks immigration judges’ records.

He ordered the deportation of a 21-year-old Salvadoran woman who says her father was killed by the gang MS 13 and that her mother abandoned her. That case is now pending an appeal to the Board -- that Judge Couch will now be part of.  

The Justice Department has been on a hiring spree since President Trump took office, adding more than 128 immigration judges since 2017.

Copyright 2020 BPR News. To see more, visit BPR News.

Cass Herrington is BPR's Morning Edition host and news reporter. Her reporting largely focuses on stories dealing with health, race, and immigration.