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U.S. Department of Justice
Executive Office for Immigration Review
Office of the Director
5107 Leesburg Pike, Suite 2600
Falls Church, Virginia 22041

February 21, 2003

Immigration Judge Takes Oath of Office

In New Orleans, Louisiana

NEW ORLEANS, La. Wayne K. Houser was sworn in today as an Immigration Judge during an investiture ceremony at 2 p.m., in the New Orleans Immigration Court, 365 Canal Street, New Orleans, La. Chief Immigration Judge Michael J. Creppy, from the Executive Office for Immigration Review in Falls Church, Va., administered the oath of office.

He joins 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 Houser was appointed Immigration Judge in April 2002. He received his B.A. in 1976 from the University of Tennessee, and his J.D. in 1978 from Memphis State University (now the University of Memphis). Judge Houser served as a referee judge for the State of Tennessee in Knoxville from September 1993 until April 2002. He was in private practice in Knoxville from 1985 to 1993. From 1982 to 1984, Judge Houser served as Assistant State Attorney General for Tennessee. He worked as a judicial law clerk in the Court of Criminal Appeals for the State of Tennessee from 1981 to 1982. Judge Houser is a member of the Tennessee Bar, the Knoxville Bar Association, and the American Bar Association.

The Executive Office for Immigration Review, a component of the Department of Justice, is responsible for providing due process to individuals who are charged with immigration law 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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