Non-White Immigrants Need Not Apply

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From [HERE] Despite the fact congress seems uncomfortable with funding President Trump’s wall on the southern border, the administration has constructed a legal wall against asylum seekers.

First, there was the announcement of the ‘Zero Tolerance’ policy of criminalizing any individuals who comes to America in ways not considered correct. While it is intended to apply only to people entering without controls or illegally, its definition of illegal is overly broad. Often legal immigrants are caught up in the zero tolerance aggression displayed by border patrol officers and the military who are helping them enforce the policy.

Second, is the recent controversy about the separation of children from their families. Hundreds of children remain separated and the government seems unable or unwilling to reunite them. Even those it reunites are only being reunited to be deported, no matter what fear of persecution they harbor.

Third, even the recent Executive Order signed by President Trump to suspend the separation of children from their parents for at least a limited period of time did nothing to end the inhumane practice of family detention. In fact, due to the Zero Tolerance policy it is likely that more families will be detained, both woman and children.

Fourth, U.S. Attorney General Jefferson Sessions has started referring immigration appeals to himself. In other words, the Attorney General took over a case from the Board of Immigration Appeals (B.I.A. or Board) in which his office was already a party. Although one might wonder how the US Government’s top lawyer can decide to review a case in which he is a party, the practice is provided for under immigration law.

Fifth, on 30 March 2018, the Attorney General promulgated new standards for immigration judges in a critical Executive Office of Immigration Review (EOIR) Performance Plan for Adjudicative Employees. This plan states that immigration judges will be judged, in part, on how many cases they complete. Read in the context of employees of the Attorney General it is easy to understand this as a ‘request-that-cannot-be-refused’ to reject more asylum-seekers, faster.-

Sixth, President Trump recently claimed that foreigners should be removed without any due process of law. A statement that only emphasizes the lack of respect for judicial independence in the federal system of immigration law.

For lawyers, the Attorney-General’s intervention may be the most striking development in US immigration law. Two cases illustrate with startling clarity the way the administration is interfering with even the minimal due process those fleeing persecution receive.

In the Matter of Castro-Tum, the Attorney-General decided that immigration judges and the B.I.A., which handles appeals from them, do not have the general authority to suspend indefinitely immigration proceedings by a process known as “administrative closure.” Prior to this decision administrative closure had been an important tool used by immigration judges to manage unwieldly full dockets. With his decision in this matter the Attorney General added an estimated 300,000 cases to the docket of the 350 immigration judges around the nation. Ashley Tabaddor, president of the National Association of Immigration Judges, in an interview with National Public Radio, lamented the fact that the “Attorney General’s decision in one fell swoop is overturning decades of recognized authority and practice.” [MORE]