According to reporting from PBS NewsHour, the Trump Administration has rolled out a new pilot program — putting more than 56,000 immigration cases on a “fast track”. Ten cities have been included within this pilot program, including Los Angeles.
While frustrating delays and lengthy backlogs have been a major problem in immigration courts, the Trump Administration’s fast track pilot program is not the answer. Quite the contrary, Trump Administration officials are openly admitting that the purpose of this program is to disincentivize immigration, not to promote the proper functioning of our immigration courts.
The Administration Admits the Program is Meant to “Disincentivize” Migration
In a statement addressing the fast track pilot program that is being rolled out in immigration courts in Los Angeles and around the country, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) states that the goal of the policy is to “disincentivize families” from attempting to migrate to the United States.
There is little question here as to the purpose of this program: this policy is aimed directly at families who are fleeing violence in Central America. The Trump Administration wants to set up as many roadblocks as possible to keep people from even getting their chance to apply for asylum in the United States.
The Fast Track Denies Immigrants a Fair Chance to Make Their Case
One of the most pervasive and destructive myths that has been pushed by the Trump Administration and other anti-immigrant rights politicians is that making an asylum claim is easy. It is not. Asylum seekers need time to build their case before they can effectively present it before an immigration judge. As a representative of Public Counsel’s Immigrants’ Rights Project told reporters, many of these cases are being pushed through “without due process.”
The PBS NewsHour article starts by telling the story of Rosita Lopez. She arrived in the United States after fleeing Guatemala while she was eight months pregnant. The event that caused her to leave her native country: her partner was murdered in cold blood by armed gang members. Since arriving in the U.S., she has given birth to a child — an American citizen — who is now one year old. She told the immigration court that she was terrified of going back.
PBS NewsHour reports that the asylum claim was put on the “fast track” by the Trump Administration. As a result, she had little opportunity to put together the evidence to build her case. An immigration judge eventually denied her asylum claim — Ms. Lopez has now been ordered to be deported. Asylum seekers deserve better.
We are Dedicated Advocates for Immigrant Rights in Los Angeles
At Goldstein Immigration Lawyers, we are committed to providing clients with honest, compassionate, and effective legal guidance. Our Southern California immigration lawyer handles the full range of claims — including asylum cases and deportation defense. To schedule a fully private initial consultation, please call our Los Angeles office at (213) 262-2000 or contact us online.