Attorney General Merrick B. Garland today announced the appointment of David L. Neal as the Director of the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) at the Department of Justice.
“The Justice Department’s commitment to a fair and efficient immigration court system, governed by due process and the rule of law, is exemplified by recent policy changes and our pursuit of significant additional resources,” said Attorney General Garland. “David Neal brings invaluable experience that will help further EOIR’s mission.”
The EOIR director is responsible for the supervision of the Chairman of the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA), the Chief Immigration Judge, the Chief Administrative Hearing Officer and all agency personnel. EOIR has more than 2,300 employees in its 69 immigration courts nationwide, at the BIA and at EOIR headquarters in Falls Church, Virginia. As provided in the President’s Budget Request for FY 22, EOIR anticipates increasing its immigration judge corps from 535 today to 734 by the end of the next fiscal year.
Most recently, Mr. Neal was a consultant specializing in immigration policy and practice. Previously, he held positions at EOIR over two decades. From 2009 to 2019, he served as Chairman of the BIA at EOIR, where he was chief judge of the appeals board and managed judicial and administrative operations. Mr. Neal served in multiple other capacities at EOIR, including as Vice Chairman of the BIA, Chief Immigration Judge, Assistant Chief Immigration Judge, Immigration Judge and Assistant to the Director.
Prior to his tenure with EOIR, Mr. Neal served in the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee as chief counsel of the Subcommittee on Immigration. Mr. Neal began his legal career as the Director of Policy Analysis at the American Immigration Lawyers Association and also worked for a law firm in Los Angeles, representing immigration cases before the former Immigration and Naturalization Service, the State Department, the Department of Labor and EOIR.
Mr. Neal received his Bachelor of Arts from Wabash College in Crawfordsville, Indiana, Master of Divinity from Harvard University’s School of Divinity and his Juris Doctor from Columbia Law School. Mr. Neal is a member of the District of Columbia and New York bars.