Sudha’s Second Reflection

Sudhamayee Kumar
Court Watch
October 2nd, 2009

Volunteers clad in orange wave flags in high spirits for our city’s bid for the Olympics. The crowd, a mass of people from various age groups, races, and ethnicities show the strength of America. They are an exemplary group, America’s children, of what our nation stands for. Freedom, unity, egalitarianism, and most importantly, hope. Yet my morning was not started of with seeing this group of people clad in orange, but another. Men with sadness in their eyes are marched out of a narrow hallway into a poorly lit court room within the basement of Chicago’s immigration building. The respondents don bright orange jumpsuits marking them as a threat to our nation, the nation in which they have been working and living for the past decade or more. The judge, who is communicating via satellite TV, states his name and his location. In this case, the judge is in Hartford, Connecticut. This lack of human interaction is startling, and does not foster a true understanding between the judge and the respondent. Mario has been held without bond for the past 2 months. During the proceedings, Mario’s lawyer applies for bond, and another hearing is set. We are informed that the reason Mario has not been eligible for bond thus far, is because of two disorderly conduct charges, which are still pending. It seems to be an endless cycle of depression for the respondent and his family. Those in his family who were present seem to be confused on the exact actions which are being taken against him. The translator hurries to keep up with the judge’s words, yet does not seem to convey the whole message to the respondent. Finally Mario’s case is scheduled for a another hearing within 2 months.
The reality of the situation is that Mario will be detained for an additional 2 months, for lack of organization within our nation’s justice system. After that is through, his lack of legal documentation will be questioned, after which he will probably be deported back to Mexico. This stands in stark contrast to what has been taught to us throughout our schooling, and what is portrayed in our nation’s media. A country of equality, and “justice for all” seems to be a fairy tale when one witnesses our fellow countrymen’s lives being torn apart in this manner.


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