, 37 tweets, 12 min read
Out of 156 human beings at #migrantpersecutionprotocols court today in San Diego, only 4 (all from the same family) are represented by an attorney. This means 152 people entered the US this morning to face immigration court alone #thisisnotjustice #dueprocessdenied (thread 1/?)
Sitting in court waiting for IJ O’Connor to come out and a baby is screaming. The “detention officers” from the private security company who are tasked with detaining #mpp families while they go to court are handing out diapers.
Only #mpp cases being heard in San Diego today & a few detained merits by video conference. Each judge has 40+ people on their afternoon docket. Babies & toddlers are crying as we wait for the judge to come in. One mom is breastfeeding her toddler to get him to stop crying.
Now the privately contracted “detention officers” are handing out animal crackers to the kids to try to get them to stop crying. It’s not working very well, the sobbing continues. Poor mom is all alone with the toddler and looks overwhelmed.
Now #migrantpersecutionprotocols “court” is starting. All the #mpp detainees are putting on headphones so they can listen. IJ O’Connor is getting ready to start, the toddler respondent is now completely hysterical and screaming. IJ O’Connor is conducting a group hearing.
IJ O’Connor is telling #mpp respondents to not bring children to court in the future. The implication would be they should leave their babies in Mexico, cross the border & come to court. He says it is for “order & decorum” in his court. Of which there is none. #nojusticehere
IJ O’Connor resetting a woman’s case to November because her baby won’t stop crying. He is telling her not to bring the baby back to court so he can “do his job.” Mom is crying and the “detention officer” is making her leave the courtroom. #nojusticehere #dueprocessdenied #mpp
The implications for the poor mom who was just sent away is that she is being sent back to Mexico for another month because her tired toddler who had been in @DHSgov custody all day could not stop crying. Another month facing violence, threats of kidnapping, of justice denied.
Another farce in #mpp court is the @DOJ_EOIR legal aid list. The court knows that almost no agencies on the list are taking cases. But the IJs continue to scold people who are here without an attorney. And everyone here knows they have basically no chance without representation.
IJ O’Connor: “We’ve seen at least 4 cases in the last weeks where Mexican lawyers are defrauding #mpp respondents by telling them they can assist in these proceedings. One man charged $3500 but he can’t appear in my court. It’s easy to check to see if an atty can practice in CA.”
As part of the group hearing: “if I order you deported and you don’t agree you have a right to file an appeal. Does everyone understand that? If you don’t, raise your hand. Since there are no hands, I am assuming everyone understands that right.” #notarealcourt #nojusticehere
IJ O’Connor: “law requires that everyone in removal proceedings must provide an address. Normally govt is required to get an address, but they are cutting corners. Today the address on your NTAs is the same as more than 1000 I have seen in last 6 months: Domicilio Conocido.”
IJ O’Connor is requiring everyone in the group hearing to file a change of address. He says they should use a family member’s address, shelter address or PO Box. Since mail in Mexico is so unreliable, by forcing them to do this he is setting them up for in absentia removals.
He just finished explaining proof of service for change of address forms. “Does everyone understand?” Everyone in unison (including most of the children in the room): “Si.” The chances of people being able to follow these insane instructions is about zero.
A 10 month old respondent is crawling around on the floor & keeps opening the gate into the counsel area & trying to play. Her mom is trying to ask the judge questions. A little boy, about 10, keeps picking her up & returning her to the mom (who is part of the group hearing).
Respondent: “I keep calling attys and they say they can’t take my case because I’m in Mexicali.” IJ O’Connor: “that’s not really a question, that’s a statement. But, they may not want to take your case, but it’s not accurate to say they can’t take your case. Some do take cases.”
TA: “May I be heard? (first time today) I am not giving written instructions for how to appear at the Port-of-entry. They’ll get those at port when they go back today.” This is concerning since CBP has shown themselves to be absolutely incapable of noticing people properly. WTF.
We have seen multiple cases where to the instructions on how to appear (the only doc folks get in Spanish) has the wrong date. We have seen cases where CBP claims ppl don’t have right docs and don’t let them enter, & they get removed in absentia. #dueprocessdenied
IJ O’Connor just asked if there are any questions. Female respondent sitting with her 5 y/o son: “a comment. Everyone who is here is having a really really hard time finding a lawyer and it’s making us really sad it’s filling us with sadness.”
The brave mom respondent, through tears, continued: “what we’re living with is hard. It’s really hard, it’s not easy we are all sitting here feeling that way. we have gone through so many difficult things and receiving this we feel even more sad.”
“I think it’s not just me I think it’s all of us, so this just makes us feel bad.”
IJ: “receiving what?” Brave mom: “the info that we have to come back w/ an atty. We can’t find...IJ interrupts: “you don’t have to come back w/ one but it will be a disadvantage if you don’t.”
Sitting in courtroom while the private security guards are off getting more respondents. Maddening to listen to the IJ chat w/ the TA. Reminder of what it looks like when there is no balance in a courtroom. They are working together, and no one here to represent the other side.
Now IJ O’Connor is doing a group in absentia removal hearing. He is terminating all the cases without prejudice at DHS’s request.
Moving now to IJ Law’s courtroom: More group hearings. Again “you should talk to non-profits in San Diego, Tijuana and Mexicali to help you w/ your cases. I do not know any orgs personally, but I have seen people in #mpp with lawyers. Even some flew here from Arizona & Ohio.” Wtf
IJ Law: “next time you should be prepared to plead to the allegations and respond to the form I-261. Does everyone understand that? If not please raise your hand.” No one responds or moves. He moves on.
IJ Law asked by someone for more time because it is impossible to find an attorney: “you have to put a lot of effort into finding legal representation, genuine effort. Have some confidence in yourself and you will find someone.” He knows this is an impossible feat. #nojustice
Another respondent to IJ Law: “I am afraid to go to Mexico. I would like to remain here in detention. I have reports here of the threats I am afraid of.” IJ Law: “you should talk to the government attorney and see if she can look at those.” #nothelpful
In IJ Romig’s courtroom now. He is not doing group hearings, he is doing each case individually. He is giving each person time to talk. It is not 3:10pm and he has about 20 more cases to go. The carpet in here is covered in pretzels and goldfish.
IJ Romig is trying to convince a woman and her daughter to ask for a continuance to find counsel and not go forward in their application today. She wants to go forward, he sets her over to the end of the docket. He looks exasperated and smiles at her toddler as they sit down.
The courtroom is getting restless. People are talking and IJ Romig is asking them to stop. He then clarifies “I am only asking the adults to be quiet, that request is not directed at the babies.” Quite a difference from his colleagues.
Mom with three kids is now up before IJ Romig. Her daughter who looks about eight has her arm around her mom’s shoulders protectively as she speaks to the judge. Mom is explaining she doesn’t have money to even call lawyers on the list he gave her last time.
Hearing ends w/ IJ giving mom an asylum application (in English) & telling her to try to find an attorney to help her fill it out. He mentions that if she has to come back w/out an attorney she will need to bring the application filled out entirely in English w/ a copy for govt.
IJ Romig is really taking his time with each case. I can’t imagine what time this docket will end. I am not sure if this is some sort of passive aggressive protest, but this is the only positive thing we have seen all day.
Case up now is a mom and daughter who were charged for illegal entry, went to live with family in Washington state, applied for asylum while they waited for crim hearing. They plead guilty, were taken into ICE custody and then sent to MX. What a ridiculous process.
IJ Romig just told family who is seeking to be released to family in New Jersey that if their family can get them private attorney he will let them do telephonic appearances so they don’t have to travel to SD. DID ALL THE LAWYERS IN THE US HEAR THAT??!!! #lawyersneeded #stepup
Three hours into the rockets and the govt attorneys have been mostly silent as justice and due process has been trampled upon all day. We should be filing bar complaints against all of them for their complicity in this.
Leaving court now to go look at options for ImmDef’s permanent new office in San Diego so we can get our team out of coworking space. We will keep taking these #migrantpersecutionprotocols cases, keep demanding justice and will not allow this to continue without a fight.
Missing some Tweet in this thread? You can try to force a refresh.

Enjoying this thread?

Keep Current with Immigrant Defenders

Profile picture

Stay in touch and get notified when new unrolls are available from this author!

Read all threads

This Thread may be Removed Anytime!

Twitter may remove this content at anytime, convert it as a PDF, save and print for later use!

Try unrolling a thread yourself!

how to unroll video

1) Follow Thread Reader App on Twitter so you can easily mention us!

2) Go to a Twitter thread (series of Tweets by the same owner) and mention us with a keyword "unroll" @threadreaderapp unroll

You can practice here first or read more on our help page!

Follow Us on Twitter!

Did Thread Reader help you today?

Support us! We are indie developers!

This site is made by just three indie developers on a laptop doing marketing, support and development! Read more about the story.

Become a Premium Member ($3.00/month or $30.00/year) and get exclusive features!

Become Premium

Too expensive? Make a small donation by buying us coffee ($5) or help with server cost ($10)

Donate via Paypal Become our Patreon

Thank you for your support!