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Immigration Law

DOJ Lawyer: 'There Are No Rocket Dockets' in Artesia, Karnes

"The Justice Department and immigrant-rights attorneys clashed before a federal judge in Seattle on Wednesday — a case dramatizing the split personality in the Obama administration over the question of providing counsel to child migrants faced with deportation hearings.  No less than Attorney General Eric Holder told the Senate last year that it is “inexcusable” that young children “have immigration decisions made on their behalf, against them, whatever and they’re not represented by counsel. That’s simply not who we are as a nation.”  But in making the case for Justice on Wednesday, Deputy Assistant Attorney General Leon Fresco painted a dire picture of what would result if the court were to insist that children be assured counsel before any deportation hearing. ... “There are no ‘rocket dockets,’ your honor, from the standpoint of any policy of any kind that says you have to speed up the cases for these kids,” Fresco said.  “What there is,” he continued, “is one policy that says the first hearing for the kids has to happen in 21 days after the notice to appear is served, which is the indictment. But after that, if the kid cannot find a lawyer, the immigration judge can continue the case as many times as the immigration judge wants without penalty to the immigration judge. … There are no case completion goals for minors in that situation.”" - Politico, Sept. 3, 2014.