Wednesday, June 7, 2017
In "Inside Trump's Secretive Immigration Court: Far from Scrutiny and Legal Aid," journalist Oliver Laughland covers the newly established immigration courtrooms at the LaSalle, LA detention facility for The Guardian. This piece provides a partial answer to my co-blogger Kit Johnson's post earlier today about the transfer of immigration judges out of New York. It describes a makeshift immigration court system in which immigration judges are transferred for two-week temporary assignments to hold removal proceedings for recent detainees from all over the country, many of whom lack criminal records but do have strong community and family ties. The article highlights the heartbreaking story, for instance, of a man who has lived in the US for nearly forty years, has a US citizen wife with stage 3 cancer, no criminal record, and cannot afford the $7,000 bond. Not surprisingly, few have attorneys, and many give up claims to legal relief because of poor detention conditions. The piece offers a glimpse into the diminished accountability, transparency, and fairness that will likely characterize immigration adjudication -- in some parts of the country more than others -- under this Administration.