The strange justice of separated kids and the immigration court
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In a regular court, a docket would be public and available. In immigration court, the hearing is public but you have to find a source to get you the docket.
In a regular court, the judge might decide to speak to the press. In an immigration court, unless it involves the judge’s union, they cannot.
In a regular court, photographs or a video of the proceedings might be open to debate. In an immigration court, they are verboten.
The immigration court system presents challenges to reporters, particularly those trying to track down the fates of kids separated from their parents.
It also presents challenges to judges with ICE prosecutors. On Friday, one prosecutor in Phoenix, pressed by a judge to reunite a 1-year-old boy with his family, actually said he was unaware of a deadline and a different division of ICE handled that. (On Monday, it became clear the Trump administration would not meet the court-ordered Tuesday deadline to reunite kids and parents it separated. In a related move, a judge late Monday blocked the Trump administration effort for long-term detention of migrant families.).
In that Phoenix courtroom on Friday, the AP’s Astrid Galván watched an embarrassed judge question how he could ask the 1-year-old Honduran boy if he understood immigration law.
“That child didn’t even really speak,” Galván told me, “other than say the word, ‘agua.’”
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A hat tip to Kristen Hare, for editing.
Have a great Tuesday.