An article in Slate by Laila L. Hlass describeshe treatment of children within the United State’s hopelessly broken and abusive immigration system. Citing a Texas Tribune Article from the previous week, Hlass describes situations in which children, some so young they are still in diapers are appearing before immigraton judges without legal counsel.
This is beyond unconscionable.
It is an act of treason against the very ideals this nation was founded on.
Denying counsel to anyone, but especially a child who has absolutely no way of understanding the law on the level necessary to be effective in his own defense is an example of the sort of behavior that directly led to the American Revolution.
It is a crime against these children.
Jack H. Weil, a senior immigration judge asserted that children as young as 3 or 4 years old could learn to defend themselves. Anyone with even a lick of sense knows that is complete and utter bunk. Weil then hid behind the excuse that his comments were “taken out of context.” No rational person needs the context of any sort to know that Weil’s statements have no basis in reality and are in fact, ….. they’re so astounding outrageous as to be beyond the pale.
The Trump Administration is not the genesis of this policy. BUT IT IS with this administration that these children, without counsel, are being “fast-tracked” for deportation and that, worse, a US Court of Appeals first set a precedent that a child in immigration court does not have the right to counsel;
This court even acknowledges that the child faces a serious risk of death at the hands of gangs in Honduras.
Any judge, any educated adult… crap, any HUMAN BEING for that matter who thinks that it is within the interest of justice to deny any child legal counsel… I don’t have the words, I’m not eloquent enough to describe how monstrous that is. It’s even more inhuman when one considers what many of these innocents face if returned to the places they fled. And yes, the U.S. Government has recognized the danger.
A Human Rights Watch Article states that; “US officials have recognized that many of the people leaving Central America are fleeing serious threats to their lives,” said Elisa Solomon, an associate at Covington and Burling, LLP. “Yet the US immigration system treats children who have arrived in the US as if their claims don’t deserve full due process protection.”
And no, don’t you dare come on here and try to justify this with arguments about “following the law” – Any law that is unjust has no right to be a law. This is about the most unjust law we have.
The argument that “they’re not Americans and they don’t have the same rights.” is based solely on politcal dogma and ignorance. Ignorance of the philosophy upon which the United States, and the rights we have now are founded. If our civil rights are imbued by our creator – a philosophy, even a dogma espoused by the founding fathers (no matter how imperfectly they executed it), then they are imbued in EVERYONE. Or they are imbued in NO ONE. There is no middle ground.
If they are not integral to the human condition and integral in ALL humans, not just the ones you pick and choose for political convenience, then the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights mean nothing.
Additionally, I’ve already addressed those issues HERE.
If American Rights are not universal human rights, then we are not citizens of a free country, we are serfs living under the illusion of a liberty that can be taken from us by the government at will. That is no different than then condition of the colonists under King George.
There is no JUST argument, in a country that believes in liberty and the rule of law to deny these children effective legal counsel.
This travesty represents a COMPLETE failure of the American Judicial System on par with the Dred Scott decision and Plessy v. Fergusson.