Sudha’s third reflection

Sudhamayee Kumar
October 7th,2009
Another day has gone by, and no judges are present in the court room. This is quite surprising since I have been to court watch twice now, both times with no judges present. The lack of judges in our nation’s judicial system does not give respondents a fair trail. Placed on the platform for the brown line el train is an ad for Hyatt hotels which states “being face to face helps people see eye to eye”. This sentiment can be applied to our nation’s immigration court system. Lack of judges poses a huge disadvantage for respondents and their families. A proper trial is technically conducted, but it lacks the human element. The proceedings are almost robotic in nature, with respondents and state officials speaking into mics and facing a judge who is broadcasted via satellite.
If only judges could properly see the ways in which detainees suffer, maybe they would be filled with a little more compassion. But there is no room for emotions in the judicial system, and these cases are judged based on very stringent immigration laws which do not take into account things such as marriage.
The case which I witnessed on this day had this very problem. The respondent, Ricardo of Mexico was put into a detention facility approximately one year ago. Since then, his girlfriend and himself have gotten married (though he was still being held in detention). His wife is a citizen of the United States, and they have been together for over 5 years, yet the Judge bases his case on his status before he was detained. In her final efforts to relieve her husband of the stress of being detained, his wife pleads with the judge to just send Ricardo back to Mexico. She cannot stand the thought of her husband being subjected to the horrors of daily life in the detention center any longer, she states. The judge agrees, and the case is closed (or so I had understood).


1 Response to “Sudha’s third reflection”

  1. 1 Jeanne Foley
    October 19, 2009 at 9:54 pm

    Today, for the first time I read this blog and all three of Sudhas’s very articulate reflections. I find them very helpful as I prepare to be a court watcher. I hope I can keep my patience as I witness the waste of lives, time and money due to the inadequacy of our court system. Thank you, Sudha, for taking the time to share your reflections.

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