Here we go again!
"Shortly after 9 a.m.,
black-robed judge took his seat under the Justice
Department seal and in front of the federal prosecutor.
People whispering in various languages spilled out of
the cramped courtroom into the hallway of the federal
immigration court in Arlington County, waiting for their
chance to fight to stay in the United States, agree to
leave or be deported.
Salvadoran Roxana Velasco sat alone in the waiting
room. Like several other people listed on that morning`s
37-case docket, she had no attorney.
“`The judge said I have
to have a lawyer or I have to represent myself,` said
Velasco, 30, recalling her first hearing in October.
`How am I going to do that?`
“In immigration courts,
there are judges and prosecutors, evidence and
witnesses. The consequences can be great: banishment,
separation from family, perhaps persecution at home. But
criminal courts, the government does not provide
free lawyers for the poor. And in what court
officials deem a great concern, a growing number of
people in immigration court have no legal counsel: Of
more than 314,000 people whose cases ran their course in
fiscal 2005, two-thirds went through on their own, or
We, good, fair minded American citizens, know that
entitled to his or her day in court. Of course we
all pay taxes to sustain an expensive court system. So
what has poor Velasco done to be in this terrible
pickle? As the Post article says,
"Velasco, who was caught
by federal border police after
slipping across the Rio Grande a year ago, said she
to be with her husband, who
lives in the District. She said she called three
lawyers, but two wanted $10,000 and one said she could
not help. So on a recent morning, Velasco took Metro to
a Ballston building, pressed the elevator button marked
"PH" for penthouse and ascended to the immigration
court, a suite of six small courtrooms."
How did Velasco
not get sent back when she first crossed? I naively
thought illegal aliens were caught and sent back. The
Post fails to ask that question. This article also
does not tell us of the status of her husband in DC. Is
he a citizen? Is he
here legally or illegally?
"`Did you find an
attorney to represent you?`
"`Not yet,` she said
through an interpreter.
"`I`m not aware of any
basis that you have for remaining in the United States,` Malphrus told her. `The only thing I can do is grant you
voluntary departure from the United States in four
"`Okay,` Velasco said,
with a nod."
So she slips into the US, gets a free four months
and, with no one to follow her, will likely never appear
before an immigration court again.
Do we need a bunch more lawyers to help these illegal
aliens further abuse our court system? At least the
Post gives a small paragraph to another view.
"I`m not aware of any evidence that says the system
would work better if people just had
access to more lawyers", said Dan Stein,
president of the Federation for American Immigration
Reform, which seeks a reduction in immigration. He
added: "Any good immigration lawyer at this point
says that every illegal alien is just basically a
potential legal one if . . . you find some loophole or
make the process long enough".
So here we go, again. Defending the right of illegal
aliens to use our court system to get entry to the US,
so they can participate in using the tax-supported
services paid for by US citizens. This wave of slave
labor keeps coming here and Bush Administration really
does nothing to stop them—except advocate
"comprehensive immigration reform", which means
another huge amnesty, legalizing many millions–there are
at least 12 million illegal aliens here now–and sending
the clear and pleasant (for Mexico and all the other
people-exporting countries) message that the US borders
are open to anyone who wants to arrive illegally.
Democratic leaders Pelosi and Reid have
strongly hinted that this Congress will soon be
sending a big amnesty bill to Bush, so he can at least
one legislative accomplishment to cite in his final
two years. But the speech Pelosi gave when she accepted
the gavel as Speaker did not cite immigration.
As a Democrat, it`s obvious to me that bringing in
massive amounts of cheap labor won`t help the
Middle Class or our working poor citizens.
Where are we going in this country? If we decide to
keep this open border policy going, the
costs of everything will keep rising and the
strain on our tax supported services will be totally
destructive of our own citizens. Communities all across
America are finding this out and trying to
combat the effect, while our Federal Government
refuses to address the cause of this woe.
Folks, as numerous studies show, among the many
public services impinged by this non enforcement policy,
grandchildren`s public school
systems are truly on the line and seriously at risk.
Sob stories such as this Post front pager ignore
the real tragedy: what mass immigration is doing to
Over 80% of all Americans have been demanding real
immigration reform for years. If the new Congress
doesn`t get the message, it should be ousted along with
lame duck President in 2008.
Donald A. Collins [email
him], is a freelance writer living in Washington DC and a former long time member of the board of FAIR, the Federation for American Immigration Reform. His views are his own.