Donald Trump’s Justice Department has no sympathy for children, especially immigrant children.
Immigration judges often have to deal with children in their cases, making special rules and guidelines important to make children comfortable.
But the Justice Department just sent out an alarming memo warning judges that they should treat children with suspicion and not have as much sympathy for them as in the past.
The memo changes or adds language to the guidelines written under George W. Bush in 2007.
At the start, the DOJ warns judges to be unsympathetic in cases involving children, who they refer to as “unmarried individuals under the age of 18.”
According to the memo:
“Although juvenile cases may present sympathetic allegations, Immigration Judges must be mindful that they are unbiased arbitrators of the law and not advocates for either party in the cases they hear. Accordingly, Immigration Judges must remain neutral and impartial when adjudicating juvenile cases and shall not display any appearance of impropriety when presiding over such cases.”
Great. That’s just what children need. An unfeeling robot decided their fate.
The DOJ also barred children from exploring the entire courtroom to get more comfortable before a trial and allows court officials to deny such explorations altogether.
The document ends by telling judges that Unaccompanied Alien Children (UAC) may merely fake their stories to get benefits:
“UAC generally receives more favorable treatment under the law than other categories of illegal aliens, there is an incentive to misrepresent accompaniment status or age in order to attempt to qualify for the benefits associated with UAC status.”
Seriously, the DOJ just literally warned judges to stop being human beings.
And the new memo has already drawn criticism from the National Association of Immigration Judges.
Judge Dana Marks said the memo appears to be an effort to turn immigration courts into Trump’s immigration enforcement offices and called it:
“…Very distressing and concerning to immigration judges”
“There is a feeling that the immigration courts are just being demoted into immigration enforcement offices, rather than neutral arbiters. There has been a relentless beating of the drum toward enforcement rather than due process.”
And that’s a slippery slope we cannot allow the government to go down. Because if they can get away with taking due process away from undocumented immigrants, they could easily take it away from American citizens.
Trump viciously attacks immigrants and deports and detains thousands, and has since he took office.
Judges should be weighing each case according to the situation. We can’t just deport young children just because they have a difficult time telling their stories. It’s also cruel to treat children as if they are lying thugs.
If Republicans really give a damn about children, they’ll have sympathy for them, especially since many undocumented children bravely made their way here to escape death in their homeland.
Featured Image: YouTube screenshot.