June 6, 2003
Immigration Judges and
Immigration Judge to Take Oath of Office
In Arlington, Virginia
ARLINGTON, VA– Daniel Echavarren and Anne J. Greer were sworn in today as Assistant Chief Immigration Judges and Paul W. Schmidt was sworn in today as an Immigration Judge during an investiture ceremony at 2 p.m., at the U.S. Army Court of Criminal Appeals, 901 N. Stuart Street, Arlington, VA. Chief Immigration Judge Michael J. Creppy, from the Executive Office for Immigration Review in Falls Church, VA, administered the oath of office.
They join the ranks of more than 200 Immigration Judges located in 52 Immigration Courts throughout the nation. Immigration Judges are responsible for conducting formal administrative proceedings to determine whether foreign-born individuals who are charged with violations of federal immigration law should be removed from the United States or may be granted relief from removal. Immigration Judges decide each case independently and their decisions are final unless appealed or certified to the Board of Immigration Appeals. In the past year, Immigration Judges completed more than 250,000 such proceedings. They are also authorized to administer oaths of citizenship to candidates for naturalization.
Judge Echavarren was appointed Assistant Chief Immigration Judge in February 2003. Prior to this appointment, he served in the Office of the General Counsel since November 1995. He received his B.A. from the University of Maryland in 1974 and his law degree from Georgetown University in 1980. Judge Echavarren worked as a senior trial attorney with the Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division, Office of Special Counsel, from 1987 to 1995. Prior to joining the Office of Special Counsel, he worked for the Federal Bureau of Prisons in the areas of personnel, EEO, internal affairs, and labor law. Judge Echavarren is a member of the District of Columbia Bar.
Judge Greer was appointed Assistant Chief Immigration Judge in April 2003. She received her undergraduate degree in 1980 from Allegheny College, and her Juris Doctorate in 1992 from George Mason University School of Law. From September 1992 until her appointment in April 2003, Judge Greer served as a senior panel attorney, supervisory attorney examiner, and attorney examiner for the Board of Immigration Appeals at the Executive Office for Immigration Review in Falls Church, VA. She served as a law clerk at the U.S. Department of Commerce, Office of the Chief Administrative Law Judge, in Washington, DC, from August 1989 to September 1992. Judge Greer also has been serving as an adjunct professor of law, George Mason University School of Law, since 1996. She is a member of the Virginia and District of Columbia Bars.
Paul W. Schmidt was appointed Immigration Judge in April 2003. Prior to his appointment as an Immigration Judge, he served as a Board Member for the Board of Immigration Appeals, Executive Office for Immigration Review, in Falls Church, VA, since February 12, 1995. Judge Schmidt served as Board Chairman from February 12, 1995, until April 9, 2001, when he chose to step down as Chairman to adjudicate cases full-time. He received his B.A. from Lawrence University in 1970 (cum laude), and his Juris Doctorate from the University of Wisconsin School of Law in 1973 (cum laude; Order of the Coif). While at the University of Wisconsin, he served as an editor of the Wisconsin Law Review. Judge Schmidt served as acting General Counsel of the former Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) (1986-1987; 1979-1981), where he was instrumental in developing the rules and procedures to implement the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986. He also served as the deputy general counsel of INS for 10 years (1978-1987). He was the managing partner of the Washington, D.C., office of Fragomen, Del Rey & Bernsen (1993-95), and also practiced business immigration law with the Washington, DC, office of Jones, Day, Reavis and Pogue from 1987-92 (partner, 1990-92). Judge Schmidt has also served as an adjunct professor of law at George Mason University School of Law. He has authored numerous articles on immigration law, and has written extensively for the American Immigration Lawyers Association. Judge Schmidt is a member of the American Bar Association, the Federal Bar Association (Member, Immigration Committee), and the Wisconsin and District of Columbia Bars.
The Executive Office for Immigration Review, a component of the Department of Justice, adjudicates on behalf of the Attorney General cases involving aliens who are charged with immigration violations. The agency also includes the Board of Immigration Appeals to hear appeals of Immigration Judge decisions and the Office of the Chief Administrative Hearing Officer to handle employment-related immigration matters.
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