Under the guidance of U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions, the Justice Department sent out a new memo just before Christmas directing immigration judges to harden their hearts more when dealing with unaccompanied “illegal alien” children.
The memo urges judges to ignore any “sympathetic allegations” that may cause them to treat these children like anything other than the criminals Sessions believes them to be.
Reuters managed to obtain a copy of the Dec. 20 memo issued by the Executive Office for Immigration Review, and it ultimately removes language instructing officials on how to conduct “child-sensitive questioning” while advising judges to look out for criminal children trying to game the system.
“An unaccompanied minor ‘generally receives more favorable treatment under the law than other categories of illegal aliens,’ the memo claims, which creates ‘an incentive to misrepresent accompaniment status or age in order to attempt to qualify for the benefits.’”
The memo also includes changes to department policies regarding rules meant to help make unaccompanied children be less afraid of entering the intimidating courtroom atmosphere. The previous language allowed officials to let children explore the courtroom before the proceedings; they even got to sit in on the judge’s bench. Now the DOJ will only enable this activity “to the extent that resources and time permit.” And children are no longer allowed to sit on the Judge’s bench.
According to a spokeswoman for the National Association of Immigration Judges, the changes are a part of Donald Trump‘s master plan to increase deportations.
“The ‘overall tone’ of the memo ‘is very distressing and concerning to immigration judges,’ Dana Marks told Reuters.”
“There is a feeling that the immigration courts are just being demoted into immigration enforcement offices, rather than neutral arbiters,” Marks added. “There has been a relentless beating of the drum toward enforcement rather than due process.”
However, this week the DOJ’s heartless actions didn’t stop with immigrant children, they also scrapped guidelines which discouraged local courts from imposing unreasonable fees and penalties on lower-income defendants.
“Congress has provided for a regulatory process in statute, and we are going to follow it,” Sessions said Thursday. “This is good government and prevents confusing the public with improper and wrong advice.”
Trump’s DOJ continues its unjust war on minorities and the poor, and if this year is any indication, they’re just warming up.
Featured Image (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
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