June 29, 2018
Over the weekend, President Trump proposed depriving undocumented immigrants of their due-process rights. In this message via Twitter, the President announced his intention to implement “zero tolerance” when it comes to immigrants crossing the border, and demanded that they be sent back immediately “with no Judges or Court Cases.”
This proclamation ignores the right to due process enshrined in the Fifth Amendment, as it endorses the rejection of asylum requests without even a hearing. It is well settled that immigrants must be afforded basic due process before being removed. Several Democrats and one Republican lawmaker have spoken out against the President, stating that the proposed policy goes against what America stands for and its system of laws.
The attack on due process for immigrants did not start with this tweet. Rather, the erosion of constitutional protections has come through a series of measures, from eliminating the annual training for immigration judges to imposing production quotas on them. In short, the Trump administration has consistently undermined the independence and authority of immigration court judges. Trump’s proposition is merely the final step in taking away all authority from judges in determining who can stay in this country.
President Trump’s proclamations can and will have long lasting repercussions if we do not take action to protect the immigration court system from further interference by the Executive branch. The undersigned members of the Appleseed Network have worked for years to protect the basic due process rights of immigrants, and will continue to stand by these protections that undergird the rule of law in this country, for citizen and immigrant alike.
Chicago Appleseed Fund for Justice
Massachusetts Appleseed Center for Law & Justice
New Jersey Appleseed
New Mexico Appleseed
South Carolina Appleseed Legal Justice Center