AZ Murder Case May Focus On Immigration Courts Issue

A high-profile Arizona murder case is bringing calls for immigration court reform, especially increasing capacity for the Justice Department’s process. In an editorial, the Arizona Republic newspaper called for less focus on a border fence, for example, in favor of more judges. The paper wrote that “… the folly of seeing immigration enforcement in isolation is clearly illustrated by the crisis in immigration courts. Funding for the courts has not kept pace with increased enforcement efforts. The result is inefficiency and Kafka-esque backlogs in the system.”

The paper also noted that “… thousands of immigrants seeking legalization were recently notified that their court dates had been rescheduled for November 2019.” And that comes in the context of the Apolinar Altamirano, “… the undocumented man accused in the fatal shooting of Grant Ronnebeck at a QuikTrip store in Mesa last month. Altamirano was a convicted felon and therefore a high priority for deportation. He should have been in detention, but ICE had released him pending the outcome of removal proceedings in immigration court.”

With the context of an undocumented murder suspect, and the reporting that the killing was over cigarettes, the case offers a vehicle to bring the courts crisis into the national political narrative. Read the cry for help here: Forget the border fence: We need more judges