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FDR's Unfounded "Fifth Column" WWII Fears Created Today's Immigration Court Mess

April 28, 2021 (1 min read)

Isabela Dias, Mother Jones, Apr. 28, 2021

"During the Trump administration, Alison Peck started to see more of her cases have an outcome she describes as “a door just slammed” in the clients’ faces. A law professor and co-director of the Immigration Law Clinic at West Virginia University College of Law, Peck grew concerned that paths to immigration relief previously available were no longer an option. ... Peck decided to look for an explanation for how this anomalous system had been set up in the first place, and what rationale, if any, sustained it despite a general consensus that the existing structure is nothing if not broken. Peck shares her findings in the upcoming book The Accidental History of the US Immigration Courts: War, Fear, and the Roots of Dysfunction, a revealing account of how wartime paranoia and xenophobia shaped a system that has been with us for more than 80 years. “As long as the immigration courts remain under the authority of the Attorney General, the administration of immigration justice will remain a game of political football—with people’s lives on the line,” Peck writes."