I spent the better part of Monday morning in the Immigration Court in Newark, New Jersey. As a former U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Trial Attorney, and a member of the private immigration bar for the last 11 years, I’ve not seen until now, a more despicable brand of vindictive justice meted out by an obviously cynical, sadistic, immigration judge who is assigned to preside over immigration detainees.
These detainees are incarcerated solely due to their immigration status and not for any crimes previously committed as they have already paid the price for the mistakes they may have made in the past. Some are detained for convictions committed over ten years ago and remain in immigration custody for far longer than any sentence they received. The hearings are conducted in the Newark federal building with the detainees appearing by television from their respective jails or prisons. Again, they are in custody solely for immigration reasons.
I witnessed an older Italian gentleman who could not speak English. The Judge seemed particularly frustrated by this and angrily called the on-call interpreter. The Judge seemed particularly angry and, if I had not been before this Judge before, I would have thought that something was wrong. But an angry disposition is the norm for this immigration judge. Continue reading →