Julie Kirchner

CIS Ombudsman and former FAIR Executive Director

Kirchner was among the first staffers of anti-immigrant groups to join the Trump Administration, and would go on to take up the powerful role of Citizenship and Immigration Services Ombudsman after spending almost a decade at FAIR. As Citizenship and Immigration Services Ombudsman, Julie Kirchner is reportedly working against the mission of her office to assist individuals and employers in resolving problems with USCIS. In addition to high staff turnover, her office has reportedly faced backlogs in assisting individuals with casework, and has failed to address systemic concerns raised by employees and outside stakeholders. Her agency’s failure to adequately address the needs of legal immigrants in the U.S. is unsurprising, considering she moved into the Administration from FAIR - an organization dedicated to shrinking immigration as much as possible. In February 2019, House Oversight Chairman Elijah Cummings sent Kirchner a letter requesting information pertaining to case backlogs as well as any communications she or her staff may have had about FAIR or with FAIR employees.

  • Julie Kirchner joined FAIR as its government relations director in 2005. She was promoted to executive director in 2007, served in that role alongside President Dan Stein until August 2015, and joined the Trump campaign shortly afterwards. Other FAIR staff members she worked with included Robert Law, Elizabeth Jacobs, and John Zadrozny.
  • Kirchner worked briefly as a high-level advisor at CBP in early 2017 before taking up her position as Citizenship and Immigration Services Ombudsman. She is one of a number of former FAIR staffers who have moved into the Trump Administration. While commenting on FAIR’s newfound influence, Kirchner’s former boss Dan Stein,  who once posed the idea of prioritizing reproduction based on intelligence, stated that he was “surprised they haven’t hired more people out of the stable of our organization.”
  • During Kirchner’s tenure, FAIR worked to torpedo immigration reform efforts at every turn, advocate for harsh attrition through enforcement measures at the federal level and in states and localities, and regularly welcomed known racists to its annual events.

Anti-immigrant Views

  • As Executive Director of FAIR, Kirchner oversaw their legislative efforts and served as one of the group’s primary lobbyists. According to federal lobbying disclosure paperwork and congressional testimony, she advocated to slash legal immigration levels and eliminate birthright citizenship. 

Anti-immigrant Activity

  • In 2007 Congressional testimony Kirchner called for immigration cuts and fretted about human “sprawl.” Kirchner stated, “As we spread out, our sprawl consumes land, water, and habitats, all the while creating a rising outflow of environmental waste…As the rate of immigration grows without limit, so does development and the impact on our environment. America simply cannot sustain perpetual growth in finite places with limited resources. Our immigration policy must recognize this truth.”
  • During her short stint at CBP, Kirchner reportedly joined Miller, Bannon and Sessions to assist in the drafting of the RAISE Act, a bill co-authored by Tom Cotton, which, if enacted, would cut legal immigration by 50%.
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