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

July 8, 2005

Immigration Judges Take Oath of Office

SAN FRANCISCO – Stephen S. Griswold and Gary W. Smith were sworn in today as immigration judges for the San Francisco immigration court during an investiture ceremony at the World Trade Club in San Francisco.  Chief Immigration Judge Michael J. Creppy, from the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) in Falls Church, Va., administered the oath of office.

Judge Griswold and Judge Smith join the ranks of more than 200 immigration judges located in 53 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 (BIA).  In the past year, immigration judges completed more than 250,000 matters.  They also are authorized to administer oaths of citizenship to candidates for naturalization.

Stephen S. Griswold was appointed as an immigration judge in January 2005.  He received his bachelor of arts in 1978 from Wesleyan University, Connecticut, and his juris doctorate from the George Washington University National Law Center in 1985.  From 1996 to 2004, Judge Griswold served as a senior legal advisor and senior panel attorney on the BIA at EOIR.  From 1989 to 1996, he served as a staff attorney at the BIA.  Judge Griswold was in private practice in Washington, D.C., Maryland, and Virginia from 1986 to 1989.  He is a member of the Maryland State Bar.

Gary W. Smith was appointed as an immigration judge in February 2005.  He received his bachelor of science in 1971, and his juris doctorate in 1975, both from the University of South Carolina.  Judge Smith completed the Army War College in 1998, receiving a master's level completion certificate.  He served in a succession of assignments for more than 29 years of active Army service, including:  chief circuit judge, 2nd  Judicial Circuit, Fort Gordon, Ga., from August 2002 to February 2005; chief circuit judge, 6th  Judicial Circuit, Seoul, Korea, from July 2001 to July 2002; chief trial judge, U.S. Army Trial Judiciary, Arlington, Va., from June 1998 to June 2001; circuit judge, 2nd Judicial Circuit, Fort Gordon, from July 1996 to June 1998; and staff judge advocate, Fort Bliss, Texas, from June 1994 to June 1996.  Judge Smith is a member of the South Carolina Bar, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces, and the U.S. Supreme Court.

EOIR is responsible for adjudicating immigration cases.  Specifically, under delegated authority from the Attorney General, EOIR interprets and administers federal immigration laws by conducting immigration court proceedings, appellate reviews, and administrative hearings.  EOIR consists of three components:  the Office of the Chief Immigration Judge, which is responsible for managing the numerous immigration courts located throughout the United States where immigration judges adjudicate individual cases; the BIA, which primarily conducts appellate reviews of immigration judge decisions; and the Office of the Chief Administrative Hearing Officer, which adjudicates immigration-related employment cases.  EOIR is committed to providing fair, expeditious, and uniform application of the nation's immigration laws in all cases.

Information about EOIR immigration proceedings is available on EOIR’s website at http://www.justice.gov/eoir/press/subject.htm.

- EOIR -


Printable version

Contact: Office of Legislative and Public Affairs
  (703) 305-0289   Fax: (703) 605-0365
Internet: www.justice.gov/eoir