Archives for August 2014

Writer Calls Out U.S. Policy On Border-Children Crisis

The writer Ruben Navarrette is citing MLK and Democratic governors in a new CNN piece that also says the Obama Administration is misleading the public about what is actually happening to unaccompanied Central American children seeking refuge in the United States.

Navarette, who is also a Daily Beast online columnist and syndicated nationally via the Washington Post Writers Group, begins by citing the civil rights icon: “In his epic ‘Letter from the Birmingham Jail,’ the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. observed that ‘justice too long delayed is justice denied.’ But now that the Obama administration is fast-tracking the deportation of thousands of undocumented minors, perhaps hoping to get rid of them before the November elections, it’s clear that expedited justice is just as bad.”

The writer adds that, “… despite the President’s claim that there is no rush in returning the children and due process would be preserved, the reality is much different. Kids are given court dates they can’t possibly be expected to make — often in another state. Many don’t have lawyers. Deportation cases are being rushed through the pipeline.”

He also suggests that the crisis might become a 2016 presidential election issue, noting that “… Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley, a possible contender for the Democratic nomination in 2016, warned that the administration was giving the migrant children death sentences. O’Malley told a gathering of the National Governors Association in Nashville, Tennessee: ‘We are not a country that should turn children away and send them back to certain death.’”

It is one of the strongest indictments yet of how the U.S. is handling the crisis, and you can read it at CNN here: Fast-tracking children to possible death

Immigration Court Scrutiny Brings Cries For Chance

Those tens of thousands of border children seeking asylum in the United States have shed light on the nation’s immigration courts, and it’s hard to like what we’re seeing. Now, the leaders of the National Association of Immigration Judges are calling on Congress to crate what many of us though we had all along – an independent immigration court system. It turns out that the “court” is actually part of law enforcement, in effect a division of the Department of Justice.

That means, for example, that immigration judges cannot hold federal prosecutors from the Department of Homeland Security in contempt of court because judges are considered to be lawyers working for the Justice Department. Erin Kelly, of the Gannett Washington Bureau, writing in USA Today, has a great report that quotes Judge Dana Leigh Marks, a San Francisco-based immigration judge and president of the National Association of Immigration Judges: “We need an independent immigration court system which stands on its own. Enforcement should not be allowed to control courts.”

Top 10 Lawyer-Themed Movies

What are your favorite legal-themed movies? We lure a legendary film critic out of semi-retirement to comment on ten of his favorites. See the results in our print edition here.

Tales From a Jury Duty Scofflaw

Ever wonder what goes through the mind of a jury-duty scofflaw? Writer Dan Dunn goes there in our print edition.

New CCM Issue Available

The latest dead-tree edition of the California Courts Monitor is out, and available in more than 100 Los Angeles locations. And also, via PDF, here.