Immigration Judge Promoted By Donald Trump Threatened 2-Year-Old In Court With Dog Bite For Being Too Loud

A judge's gavel sits on a bench.
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An immigration judge who was recently promoted by Donald Trump once threatened to send an attack dog to bite a 2-year-old boy who was making too much noise in his courtroom, a new report noted.

The incident took place in Judge V. Stuart Couch’s courtroom in March 2016, when he reportedly grew angry at a Guatamelan toddler who was being noisy in the court. As Mother Jones reported, the judge demanded that the boy be quiet, and when the boy remained loud he threatened the boy with a dog attack.

“I have a very big dog in my office, and if you don’t be quiet, he will come out and bite you!” the judge yelled at the boy. “Want me to go get the dog? If you don’t stop talking, I will bring the dog out. Do you want him to bite you?”

The report noted that Couch continued to yell at the boy when he moved or made noise during the hearing, with a Spanish language interpreter relaying the judge’s threats to the young boy.

The incident was relayed by Kathryn Coiner-Collier, who was working with an organization that assisted immigrants who could not afford attorneys. She kept a record of the judge’s threats, and said that it seemed credible because there were often Department of Homeland Security officers with dogs sweeping the building.

A legal advocacy organization filed a complaint to the Justice Department the month after the incident, and Coiner-Collier said she was interviewed by the judge’s superior, but it appears that no discipline ever took place. Couch acknowledged to his supervisor that he did not properly handle the situation and assured that it would not happen again, but he continued to hold his seat on the bench.

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In fact, last month the Trump administration promoted Couch to a seat on the Justice Department’s Board of Immigration Appeals, a body that has final say over deportation cases. As Mother Jones noted, Couch and the five other judges promoted to the board all reject asylum requests at a rate far above the national average. Couch was particularly tough on asylum claims, the report noted. He granted just 7.9 percent of claims before him between 2013 and 2018, with the national average at 45 percent.

Donald Trump has come under fire for his attempts to overhaul the process for seeking asylum, making it more difficult and even denying entry for those seeking asylum. These plans have been met with legal challenges, and the Washington Post reported this week that a federal judge issued a ruling blocking the changes from going into place while the restrictions are being challenged in court. As The Inquisitr reported, the administration was handed another loss last month when a judge overruled a potential rule change that would only allow immigrants to seek asylum if they came through official ports of entry.