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Membership Information

Membership in the NAIJ is about taking responsibility and maintaining the professionalism of our service as judges.

Membership in the NAIJ is about taking responsibility and maintaining the professionalism of our service as judges. Our ability to promote and educate the public and legislators regarding our important work, as well as collaborate with management regarding changes that impact our courts, is influenced by our colleagues who are willing to join. The more who are willing to take some personal responsibility over their career and work life by joining their colleagues, the more influence we have as a group in the eyes of DOJ officials and policy makers. As such, the more Immigration Judges involved, the more it benefits you, as with any professional association or democratically run organization.

The NAIJ has been extremely successful in advancing the interests of those who work as Immigration Judges, as highlighted below, but our continued success rests on you and our colleagues’ willingness to support this effort.

Hightlights of NAIJ accomplishments include:

Our members share in benefits offered to our parent union, IFPTE, such as mortgage assistance, dental and disability insurance, Union Plus Benefits Program and scholarships. For more information about IFPTE benefits, visit their website at

  • Taking steps towards greater judicial independence by successfully lobbying Congress to include the definition of Immigration Judge and provide contempt authority for Immigration Judges in our governing statute
  • Increasing the pay of Immigration Judges by successfully lobbying Congress to create the Immigration Judge pay scale
  • Obtaining an additional $5 million appropriation for new Immigration Judges in 2009
  • Securing the first collective bargaining agreement with EOIR which included provisions for grievances and arbitration to protect against arbitrary discipline, assuring the availability of alternate work schedules and administrative time for continuing legal education, and providing for a transparent and fair transfer policy
  • Providing continuing predecisional input and protection against unchecked changes in working conditions by OCIJ
  • Successfully reducing discipline against several individual Immigration Judges through grievance and arbitration representation
  • Raising awareness about our system and the limitations imposed on us by our working conditions, resulting in decreased criticism of Immigration Judges by federal court judges
  • Improving the image of Immigration Judges with bar associations and members of the public through robust public outreach and media education initiatives
  • Zealously advocating judicial independence with Congress, bar associations and the general public

NAIJ welcomes our collaboration with the National Active and Retired Federal Employees (NARFE). As part of our partnership, NARFE is pleased to offer NAIJ members free access to valuable member resources. For more information about NARFE benefits please visit their website at NAIJ NARFE Collaboration and at

To become a member or if you have any questions about membership, please email: Judge Dorothy Harbeck, NAIJ Secretary-Treasurer, at You can also call her at 908-601-0265.

We thank you for your support of the organization, and we will continue to work hard to advance the interests of our membership.