A public defense attorney who is handling immigration cases in Texas said the government prosecutors have no answers for parents separated from their children at the border, and no answers for judges presiding over the cases either.
And apparently some of the judges are getting very upset about the process.
Erik Hanshew, a federal public defender in El Paso, Texas, published a column in the Washington Post that describes what parents must go through to find their children. He wrote:
“At a hearing before a judge, as one of my colleagues asked the immigration agent on the stand about the whereabouts of my client’s child. The federal prosecutor objected to the relevance of the questions. The judge turned on the prosecutor, demanding to know why this wasn’t relevant.”
“At one point the judge slammed his hand on the desk, sending a pen flying. This type of emotional display is unheard of in federal court.”
“I can’t understand this,” the judge said. “If someone at the jail takes your wallet, they give you a receipt. They take your kids, and you get nothing? Not even a slip of paper?”
According to Hanshew, it does not appear that the government has any intention of ever reuniting children with their shattered families. He wrote:
“The client meetings have been crushing. One man sobs, asking how his small child could defend himself in a detention facility. One cries so uncontrollably, he is hardly able to speak. Question after crying question piles up from one client to the next.”
“This administration appears to have no infrastructure, policy or plan in place to deal with the destruction of families seeking refuge or a new life in our country.”
“You would never know from the agent’s testimony that we’re dealing with a parent who has been separated from a child. That is not mentioned in the complaint. The prosecutor asks no questions about the child. At no point do they discuss the child. The child might as well not exist.”
Attorneys, parents and judges are now totally fed up with the lack of interest in reuniting parents and children in these cases.
Reportedly the immigration agents arrest people but have no information about their children, and in many cases don’t even know that the arrested adults have small children who are missing. In the government system children are not given any consideration. It’s almost like they are invisible, or don’t exist.
As of right now, immigration agents have no answers for parents or judges, just as the government has no answers for lawmakers and reporters about these detained children. Many of them are missing, and their whereabouts are unknown. And for many, it is possible that they will never be reunited with their parents, and the United States government doesn’t care.
I am a lifelong Democrat with a passion for social justice and progressive issues. I have degrees in writing, economics and law from the University of Iowa.