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Border Immigration Tent Courts Resemble 'China or Russia'

September 25, 2019 (1 min read)

Gus Bova, Texas Observer, Sept. 24, 2019

"In Laredo and Brownsville, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has taken the unusual step of building tent court facilities alongside the ports of entry. There, members of the press and public are barred from entry. ... On Thursday, I spoke by phone with Ashley Tabaddor, an immigration judge in California and president of the National Association of Immigration Judges, about how MPP has undermined adjudication of immigration law. Tabaddor commented in her capacity as association president. ... 'Normal immigration court is open to the public. In civil proceedings in America, one of the fundamental tenets of our judicial system is that there has to be accountability to the public. We don’t do stuff behind closed doors. That is not what America is about. And yet, with each [immigration] policy decision in the last three years, we are moving closer and closer to a model that doesn’t resemble anything in the American judicial system; it’s more like what you might see, perhaps, in China or Russia, countries that we hear asylum cases from, where judicial decisions are being made by prosecutors or at the direction or influence of prosecutors in the guise of a court. So it has become exceedingly problematic for the judges to try to stay true to their oaths of office.' "