Sunday, March 7, 2021

Op-ed: What I watched in Chicago’s immigration court


Stephen Franklin wrote this powerful commentary for the Chicago Tribune on the immigration courts.  He recounts the frightened immigrants and their families that he observed in his reporting on the immigration courts.

Franklin further writes:

"The Biden administration has signaled that it would like to narrow arrests and deportations to those persons convicted of national security threats and other serious felonies. . . .

But there’s a bigger challenge facing the Biden administration.

Can it wipe away rules that have fed into a mindset that seemed to take root nationally among some court and immigration enforcement officials?

The rules were meant to erase an immigrant presence in the U.S. And they came to life far away from the nation’s borders in the daily grind of the immigration courts. For well over two years, I sat in Chicago’s immigration court watching, reporting and wondering how his could be happening.

Day by day I watched as the crowds huddled anxiously in the Chicago court’s major waiting room grew. Judges’ caseloads, as listed on the waiting room walls, eventually doubled for some to as many as 100 a day."

The immigration judges union produced a video (see above) saying that the courts "are subject to political influences and that ultimately what takes place is not blind justice but assembly-line justice."


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