Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Our Immigration Conundrum

Here is a story which is quite typical of our times:

Alejandra is one of more than 87,000 undocumented immigrant children who have made court appearances since 2005 without legal representation.

You can read the details @

Is this due process? Let's refer to the US Constitution:

Fourteenth Amendment
1: All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

(Note - The "due process" clause in this amendment mimics the wording of the Fifth Amendment.)

Is Alejandra being deprived of "life, liberty, or property"? NO. So in this sense, she is not being deprived of due process.

But is she being deprived of "the equal protection of the laws"? What does the US Constitution say about the right to legal representation?

Sixth Amendment
In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defence.

Is Alejandra's deportation hearing a "criminal prosecution"? NO. So in this sense, she is not being deprived of equal protection.

Ironically, the failure to provide due process and equal protection applies not to undocumented immigrants but to CITIZENS of the United States. "Our" government has deprived We The People of those rights by not enforcing our immigration laws. Had they enforced such laws equally and effectively, there would not be a hoard of immigrants in our midst, and our immigration conundrum would not even exist.

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