From Creators Syndicate
Ours is, after all, a nation of laws, right? We value justice and we believe everyone has a right to have their day in court. Right?
But what if the Court is turned into a loony bin and the law itself becomes a mockery of justice? Welcome to the federal immigration courts struggling to deal with the loopiness of Trump's impetuous and imperious "zero tolerance" decree that all asylum seekers will be jailed and prosecuted as criminals, set for deportation back to the horrors they were fleeing.
How insane has it become? Toddlers, separated from their parents by Trump's border guards, are being ordered into court to defend themselves against deportation. "We were representing a 3-year-old in court," said a dismayed defender of a migrant toddler, "and the child -- in the middle of the hearing -- started climbing up on the table." It really highlighted the absurdity of what we're doing with kids.
Not just doing "with" them, but to them. Fleeing unimaginable trauma in their home country, then suffering the pain of being torn away from their parents inside our border, the expectation that these little ones can mount a legal defense has rightly been labeled "unconscionable" and "grossly inappropriate" by experts. But I would add, inexpertly, that it is insane -- and purely evil.
Here's a bit of Trumpian evil for you: Johan, a 1-year-old Honduran boy taken from his amnesty-seeking father by our president's border agents, was hauled alone into federal immigration court in July to argue for sanctuary. A one-year-old! An AP reporter wrote that the baby briefly played with a ball, drank, from a bottle, then "cried hysterically." The judge said he was too "embarrassed" to try explaining this judicial proceeding to anyone: "I don't know who you would explain it to, unless you think that a 1-year-old could learn immigration law," the judge said in exasperation.