Children As Their Own Lawyers - Liberal Resistance

Children As Their Own Lawyers

In Trump’s immigration nightmare,
toddlers in “tender age prisons” are supposed to be their own lawyers in court  

By Marc Keyser

Families ripped apart and children put in cages, which the Trump administration calls “Tender age prisons.”

A new federal court ruling effectively states that undocumented minors are not entitled to legal representation in court. In practice, this means that even a toddler could be forced to appear before an immigration judge to argue his or her case for legal status and to avoid deportation.



A three-judge panel from the Ninth Circuit recently ruled on the case of a Honduran teenager named CJ. CJ fled to the U.S. when he was 13 after facing violent threats for refusing to join a local gang. As such, he sought asylum status. Unfortunately, he had no legal representation and was unable to effectively argue his case and faces deportation to Honduras. This most recent ruling states that this outcome is perfectly legal and that CJ had no right to an appointed lawyer.

Coupled with Trump’s heartless “zero tolerance” immigration policy, this ruling means that many thousands of undocumented youths face the prospect of deportation to deadly environments after a farcical trial. 

The Ninth Circuit Court, with its decision, has demonstrated an inability to provide justice and compassion for some of the most vulnerable individuals in the United States.

The stinky mess that Donald Trump has created at the Mexican border is getting worse every day.

The president and his drudges — Jeff Sessions and Kirstjen Nielsen — have put into effect new policies and programs designed to impose the maximum pain possible on people attempting to enter the United States.

They started with their zero tolerance policy in April which said every adult coming into the U.S. without proper documentation had to be arrested.  After that came the logical next step: any arrested adult accompanied by minor children would have those children forcibly taken away from them and put in child detention facilities.

Zero tolerance combined with child separation is a nightmare, and the subsequent outcry came from everywhere, including the Pope, the United Nations, Republicans in Congress and even the evangelical leaders of the pro-Trump Religious Right.

After Trump issued an executive order supposedly ending child separations, many people realized that in some ways he’d just made things more confusing because:

Trump’s executive order had exceptions allowing child separations to continue

“The order signed by Trump calls for those families to be detained together but it permits separation if deemed that detention with a parent “would pose a risk to the child’s welfare.” Family unity is the policy “where appropriate and consistent with law and available resources,” the order said.”

Without child separations the children would accompany their parents to jail, which would be illegal.

For several decades it has been prohibited for the federal government to keep children incarcerated with their parents for more than 20 days.

And now, even while Trump administration lawyers are trying to get this rule overturned in federal court, complicit Republicans in Congress are trying to get the law changed to allow the children to be kept in jail longer.

“GOP lawmakers are readying an immigration bill that would allow detained migrant children to stay in detention centers with their parents for more than 20 days”

One reason the mess made by Trump, Sessions and Nielsen is getting worse is that all of the child detention camps are full.  They are also running out of space to keep all of the adults they are arresting under the zero tolerance policy.

On top of that, it has been widely reported that there is no plan in place to return the separated children to their families.  This means that Trump’s program may result in permanent separations, which is an unbelievably cruel and heartless way to try to solve America’s immigration issues.

Republicans know they have a huge problem with many dimensions.  They are facing condemnation from every quarter. They are losing the support of many of their voters.  They have legal issues and potentially massive lawsuits against them.

A federal judge ruled that U.S. immigration agents could no longer separate immigrant parents and children caught crossing the border from Mexico illegally, and must work to reunite those families that had been split up in custody.

United States District Court Judge Dana Sabraw granted the American Civil Liberties Union a preliminary injunction in a lawsuit filed over the family separations, but who knows if the ruling will be enforced or upheld?

The opposition is growing

Conservative columnist George Will is hoping President Donald Trump’s horrifying zero-tolerance policy on the border that led to the separation of thousands of kids from their parents will be the last straw for many people planning to vote Republican in the 2018 midterms.

Democratic Senator Kamala Harris of California has accused the Trump Administration of committing “crimes against humanity” because of the treatment being received by mothers and their children at the U.S.-Mexico border.

Standing up to Trump

How do we stop Trump’s racists attacks on immigrants at the border, and how do force Congress to give Trump the impeachment he deserves?

We launch a Call-In against one branch of Bank of America in one city to disrupt business, cost them money, make the news, and go viral. We start locally and turn it into a Global Phone Protest against Bank of America in the U.S. and their stock brokers Merrill Edge in most major cities around the globe. We put business at Bank of America on hold, and we put Congress on trial.

We place economic sanctions on Bank of America until Congress meets our demands… or Congress loses Bank of America- one of the five big banks on Wall Street.

CALL-IN: Call Bank of America and occupy their phones. Put their business on hold and send a message to Congress. Congress will meet our demands… or Congress could lose Bank of America. Occupy and interrupt business.

DIE-IN: Lie down inside the nearest branch of Bank of America make yourself comfortable. Take up floor space. Line up in front so customers must wait for hours to get into the bank.

SOCIAL NETWORK:  Get on your smartphone, go viral, and bring enough protesters to the phones to put business at Bank of America on hold.

OCCUPY THE PHONES IN SOLIDARITY: Starting in Fresno, we can Occupy the Phones: we can start a protest by phone that snowballs and buries Bank of America under an avalanche of phone calls. It’s only a matter of time until stockholders panic and start dumping their stock and depositors want they money back and start a run on the bank.

Trial by fire

Force Congress to save the children and impeach the President… just to save Bank of America from going under.

  • Congress will Save the Dreamers, pass comprehensive immigration laws that are humane, protect Human Rights and offer safe guards for our immigrant workforce that provides the labor to keeps our agriculture and food industry the most productive in the world.

  • Congress will pass common-sense gun control.

  • Congress will abort the trillion-dollar tax cut for the 1% and increase taxes on the rich and their mega-rich corporations.

  • Congress will protect the Trump-Russia investigation.

  • Congress will impeach Trump.

Put Congress on trial. Congress can risk losing Bank of America/Merrill Edge and face a financial melt-down on Wall Street… or Congress can meet our demands and bow to the will of the People. It’s their choice.