A one-year-old boy was brought before an Arizona immigration judge on Friday in a story that is adding to the hotly contested Trump immigration debate, and sparking a new discussion about unaccompanied minors in court.
A 1-year-old boy in a green button-up shirt drank milk from a bottle and played with a small purple ball in court b… https://t.co/2dD2sriedo— TorontoStar (@TorontoStar)1531060504.0
AP News reports that a one-year-old boy, identified only as Johan, was brought before Judge John W. Richardson in Arizona for a deportation hearing on Friday.
Johan had been separated from his father at the border and had no one to speak for him in court but his attorney.
In what was described as a tense and uncomfortable procedure Judge Richarson said he was "embarrassed" , having to ask Johan's attorney if the boy understood what was going on, saying "I don't know who you would explain it to, unless you think that a 1-year-old could learn immigration law."
Unaware of what was happening, Johan played and drank from a bottle as his case was being decided, and then "cried hysterically" as he was leaving court.
Critics of Trump's immigration policy see Johan's story as a prime example of the failed immigration system. Minors, many as young as Johan, being sent before judges, while separated from their parents. In Johan's case, he had an attorney present, but a three year study in 2014 showed as many as two thirds of unaccompanied minors have no legal representation, which made it far likelier they would be deported.
Johan was given a voluntary departure, a ruling with fewer legal consequences, and will be send back to his father in Honduras.
While polls have shown Americans favor some form of immigration reform, the Trump administration has come under heavy fire with regards to how it has handled its zero-tolerance immigration policy.
@Oregonian How we enforce the law is our choice. This is not the way.— Allen Warner (@Allen Warner)1531003807.0
@TorontoStar A child in diapers before a judge, well done America!— Darlene Shaw (@Darlene Shaw)1531071558.0
@dabeard @astridgalvan @AP https://t.co/NDNRMzAWSC— Jean Liss (@Jean Liss)1531133598.0
Some, however, feel responsibility rests with those at ground level; the officials doing the day-to-day work of enforcing the policy.
@dabeard @astridgalvan @AP Are the American Bar Assoc not doing anything about this? And why are the judges activel… https://t.co/R8jjPf0Iy3— David (@David)1531140758.0
@dabeard @nancyleong @astridgalvan @AP Embarrassed, the judge should have done something.— Pedro da Costa (@Pedro da Costa)1531209461.0
@dabeard @astridgalvan @AP This is bizarre. All those judges need to lose their jobs for participating in this madness. Impeach Trump Now!!!— PBWF2013 (@PBWF2013)1531081295.0
@dabeard @astridgalvan @AP That judge had a choice between what is moral and what isn't, as well as which cases are… https://t.co/yjNUPQpBgn— Nydia Bonilla (@Nydia Bonilla)1531224429.0
For now, protests continue over the Trump administration's immigration policy as critics remain concerned not only for the separated families, but for how these actions have impacted our national identity.
This is not who we are as a country. This is not normal. #FamiliesBelongTogether https://t.co/4GE02ZehFj #coleg #copolitics— COHouseDems (@COHouseDems)1531245600.0
@dabeard @astridgalvan @AP Every American should be embarrassed . . .— Maureen A. Griswold (@Maureen A. Griswold)1531080581.0
@dabeard @Martina @astridgalvan @AP What have we become?— Alathena (@Alathena)1531137971.0
As the debate goes on, many are still asking if the ends could ever justify the means.
@Oregonian Regardless of your opinion on immigration, and what their parents did or should have done, children are… https://t.co/vj0XDxRCMo— Atropine (@Atropine)1531003930.0