Dorothea Lay was on track to become a member of the Board of Immigration Appeals, part of the Justice Department’s Executive Office for Immigration Review. Her 25-year government career had prepared her for the post, as reflected in four letters of recommendation from academics and current and former officials. In December 2016, nine months after submitting her application, she was offered the job. But administrations changed, Jeff Sessions assumed the role of attorney general, and by early 2018 the offer was withdrawn.
The attorney general has stepped up the hiring of immigration judges, ordered them to hear more cases, and shown a preference for those who’ve previously been prosecutors.