New WaPo Series Hits Immigration Issue

A new Washington Post newspaper series, “Storyline,” has come out swinging on the ethnic pressures behind how non-Hispanic white Americans feel about immigration. Even the paper’s sub-headline notes that “it’s not pretty.” The series, which hopes to use polling data to explain how policy affects public opinion “… and the other way around,” gets deeply into the race card.
Reports the WaPo: “Whites who read a negative story featuring an Hispanic immigrant had a strong political reaction. In addition to higher opposition to immigration, they became more supportive of an ‘English-only’ law, asked for more information about the issue and were more apt to send an e-mail  to their congressional representative advocating reduced immigration levels when asked in the survey… Negative news about a Russian immigrant had little impact on political motivation.”

‘Rocket Dockets’ Set For Border-Children Immigration

The federal government is creating “rocket dockets” to process unaccompanied border children, hoping to slow the flow of children by showing a policy of quick returns. Critics are responding that the new practice moves too quickly in a system inadequate to provide legally required court oversight and without a system for legal representation. 
The U.K.-based Guardian newspaper has a good overview, reporting that “.. under normal rules, the recent arrivals would have queued at the tail-end of a backlogged system where migrants wait months or years for hearings at overstretched immigration courts… instead, with Republicans accusing the president of neglecting border security, the administration vaulted the newly arrived children to the front of the line, and said they would have initial court hearings within 21 days.”
They also cite a California-based critic: “We appreciate the government’s attempt to deal with these [new] cases expeditiously, but not to this extreme. We think 21 days is too fast. Maybe 60 days would be preferable,” said Caitlin Sanderson, director of the Los Angeles-based Esperanza Immigrant Rights Project, which has staff attorneys representing about 270 children pro bono.

L.A. Court Houses Nix Direct News Distribution

News organizations are crying foul after the Los Angeles Superior Court began enforcing an order banning most direct-distribution print products from its courthouses. Among them is at least one who finds the move comes suspiciously close to an article he published with political implication.
James Preston Allen, publisher of L.A. County-based Random Lenghts News and a contributor to this website and our print editions, says that his newspaper “… is not the only publication that is targeted by this General Order. All publications are being targeted unless the publication is sanctioned as acceptable by a third party vendor inside the courthouse. So now, our press freedoms are being adjudicated by a commercial vendor?” 
The publisher also contends that the order singles out printed material: “With the advent of WiFi access at many courthouses and the universal availability of the Internet on any smartphone, this General Order is impossible to enforce, yet the presiding Judge David S. Wesley, insists upon enforcing it on traditional press distribution methods and other forms of protected speech such as newspapers, flyers and people demonstrating.
He noted that the eviction letter from the Los Angeles Superior Court’s Executive Officer Clerk Sherri R. Carter came “… just a few days after our past front page story ran, ‘Stop Or We’ll Shoot’ (July 11-24, 2014 Rln). This story challenged the use of force policy at the Long Beach Police Department, whose chief, Jim McDonnell, now is running for Los Angeles County Sheriff.”
Allen notes that his newspapers are not actually distributed in a courthouse since his local one closed last year. Read his story via City Watch here: Censorship Exposed! At LA’s Superior Courts

D.C. And L.A. Getting More ‘Border Children’

The Los Angeles Times is breaking down where the children caught illegally crossing the border are going, noting that cities like Washington with large populations from the originating countries are getting the most newcomers. The Times says reports that D.C. “… is home to an estimated 165,000 Salvadoran immigrants, the nation’s second-largest population after the Los Angeles area’s 275,000, according to the Migration Policy Institute. The capital region had 42,000 immigrants from Guatemala and 30,000 from Honduras.”
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Administration for Children and Families reports that 2,234 unaccompanied minors were released to sponsors in Virginia between Jan. 1 and July 7, ranking the state fifth after Texas, New York, Florida and California. It’s not noted in the story, but those numbers are expected to accelerate as tens of thousands of children being held are processed into the Immigration Court system.

Border Cases Expedited Over Backlog

The tens of thousands of “border children” immigration cases are being moved to the front of the line in immigration courts, often moving ahead of people who have waited for years to have their day in court, says a Sacramento Bee newspaper report. The story follows a San Francisco immigration court where two judges were assigned “special dockets.” 
“The border surge cases are now getting top billing on our dockets, and this immigration court has already been resource-deprived to the point of being anorexic,” said one of the judge quoted in the report. That judge had 2,482 cases on her docket July 25, before the surge of cases began arriving.
The flood of new cases is straining a court that was already overtaxed before tens of thousands of children started crossing illegally into the United States, says the report.

In Iowa, ‘Chicken Case’ Tests Anti-Lawyer Populism

Sara Warner, Courts Monitor publisher, has posted her take a certain anti-lawyer populist trend that seems to have infected at least one U.S. Senate race. See the story at The Huffington Post here: In Iowa, ‘Chicken Case’ Tests Anti-Lawyer Populism

Mercury News Blasts Border Crisis Response

The San Jose Mercury News is blasting the government response to the border crisis of unaccompanied children, saying that  “… surely the United States will meet this hemisphere’s crisis in a humane manner befitting its history” and outlining that the “policy” crisis is really a funding crisis.
“Republicans have wanted to fund enforcement but not judges,” asserts the paper. “There are just 243 nationwide. Los Angeles County alone has more than 400 judges on its Superior Court. There’s no way the immigration judges can keep up, let alone catch up… refugees from violence are a worldwide challenge. People fleeing wanton slaughter in places like Somalia, Syria and Uganda often end up in nearby countries that are ill-equipped for the influx. But they try.”
The editorial is being picked up around California, and you can read it here: Another View: July 21, 2014