Guendelsberger isn’t new to board, which is kind of like a “supreme court” for the immigration court system. It is the top administrative body for the application and interpretation of immigration law. He was a BIA member from September 1995 until October 2003, when then-Attorney General John Ashcroft cut the number of seats on the board and eliminated his job. The job reductions were part of what immigration lawyers have said was the Bush administration’s attempts to slow immigration by starving the courts of judges and staff.
Guendelsberger then served as a temporary member from May 2007 to July 2009. In addition, he had served as senior counsel to the BIA chairman since October 2003.
The appointee has also worked as an immigration lawyer on a pro bono basis in Ohio and was a law professor from 1980 to 1995 at Ohio Northern University College of Law where he taught immigration law.
The American Immigration Lawyers Association has called for more judges like Guendelsberger, whose background isn’t prosecutorial.
AILA national president Charles Kuck, who has worked with Guendelsberger in the past, said the appointee is a “superb judge.”
“I think it is a wonderful appointment,” Kuck said.