Juan Osuna, a beloved member of the immigrant justice community, passed away on August 15, 2017. Over a 17-year period, Juan worked for the US Department of Justice (DOJ) under four administrations in positions of increasing responsibility and importance. He served as a member of the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA), BIA Chairman, Deputy Assistant Attorney General (DAAG) for DOJ’s Civil Division, Associate Deputy AG over immigration, and Director of the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR), which encompasses the US immigration trial courts and the BIA. Juan served in all of these positions with distinction, competence, and compassion. He will long be remembered as a champion of access to justice, due process, and the rule of law in the full sense of that term. As a public servant, he was fair, accessible, committed to the vulnerable, true to his principles, and generous in his opinions of others, particularly those with whom he disagreed.
Prior to his public service, Juan was a well-known editor and publisher in the immigration field. Over the years, he worked extensively with the American Bar Association (ABA), American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), the Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc. (CLINIC), Human Rights First, and many other institutions.
After stepping down from DOJ earlier this year, Juan’s short-term goal was to enjoy a free summer with his family and friends. An ardent bird watcher, he would chase rare sightings, which led him to spot – for example – a dickcissel in Manassas, Virginia earlier this summer. He also continued to share his time, expertise and sense of humor with his colleagues. In a July 18th interview at CMS, he spoke at length on the challenges of immigration policymaking and offered advice for future administrations on immigration issues.
Juan was a strong family man, a lovely person, a good friend and colleague, and an outstanding public servant. Our thoughts and prayers are with Wendy Young, his beloved wife, his family, and his many friends. We will miss him.
Details about a memorial service in Juan’s honor are available here.