San Francisco immigration lawyer retires after complaints of biased treatment

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San Francisco immigration lawyer retires after complaints of biased treatment

A San Francisco Immigration Court judge, who was the subject of a complaint with the US Department of Justice regarding hostile and biased treatment of immigrants, abruptly resigned this week.

In a letter announcing his resignation, Judge Nicholas Ford did not acknowledge the complaint made by local lawyers representing immigrants, the San Francisco Chronicle reported Friday.

Instead, he criticized the entire judicial system, calling its managers “an anxious community whose main concern was never the growth of the people they oversee, but rather its own continued employment.”

“I’m a senior judge and it’s hard to understand how a judicial system can work like that,” he added.

Ford was a criminal judge in Cook County, Illinois before being appointed to the bench of the Immigration Court by then Attorney General William Barr in 2019. During his tenure in Chicago, he was criticized for detaining a pregnant woman without bail for a nonviolent crime, and numerous appeals court rulings have been overturned, according to Injustice Watch, a judicial oversight group.

Last November. A coalition led by the National Lawyers Guild Chapter in the San Francisco Bay Area called for his removal from the bank and in a complaint alleged that Ford was “aggressive, unprofessional and degrading” towards immigrants.

The Guild said the Justice Department closed its investigation against Ford last month without disclosing whether any disciplinary action had been taken.

Ford and the Justice Department did not respond to requests for comments from the Chronicle.

The guild said in a statement Saturday that it believes public pressure to remove Ford from the bank has had an impact.

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