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April 19, 2017

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Being in the country without authorization is a civil violation and not a criminal offense, so the right to an attorney does not apply.

When the resources of the state are used to obstruct legal representation, the constitutional position is arguably somewhat moot..
http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/cover_story/2017/04/ice_detainees_enter_an_unbelievably_cruel_system_designed_to_make_them_disappear.html

Being in the country without authorization is a civil violation and not a criminal offense, so the right to an attorney does not apply.

You know I thought about this and you are correct I believe. But what is so bothersome is that the consequences - depending on the circumstances - are very criminal like. The SCOTUS case is about holding people at immigrant detentions centers - jail, effectively - for months and months at a time (and longer) without any opportunity to be released on bond, while waiting for your case to be heard.

It's the rare civil case (never?) where you are put in jail until the case begins.

Moreover, while the historic immigration case may be simply sending someone back where they recently arrived from, which isn't much of a punishment, that is emphatically not the case for those with DACA status. Imagine living here since you were 8 and then being sent back to that country when you're 30? Or worse being under age 5 when you arrived?

IMHO it's wanton cruelty and the fact that immigration cases have been historically treated as civil is a thin reed to hang the current system on (not that that's what you're doing heckblazer).

It's really nuts.

Nigel's Slate link is unspeakably awful. It's incredible that this is happening in this way, and very depressing to contemplate that it pre-dates Trump, so can't (somewhat comfortingly) be blamed on him. Jesus wept, is America even fixable*?

*Not claiming that we're any great shakes ourselves.

Being in the country without authorization is a civil violation and not a criminal offense, so the right to an attorney does not apply.

I'm not so sure. A traffic ticket is the civil violation most of us are most familiar with. And while most people just pay them, you do have a right to a hearing before a judge.

And, if you are going to court and stand before a judge, don't you have a right to an attorney? Certainly, if that happens, the government will be represented by an ADA, that is they have an attorney. And if you have a hearing before an immigration judge, you can bet that ICE will be represented by an attorney. So it seems like you should have a right to equal representation.

It's the rare civil case (never?) where you are put in jail until the case begins.

I'm way out of my element here, not being a lawyer and all, but the revival of, in effect, debtor's prison seems to at least belong in the same ballpark.

IIRC, this stuff was a factor in Ferguson.

Being in the country without authorization is a civil violation and not a criminal offense, so the right to an attorney does not apply.

doesn't this meet the classical definition of begging the question?

if you haven't proved i'm unauthorized, you can't deny me an attorney because i'm unauthorized.

Well denying you an attorney does have the up side that you may not realize that the burden of proof is on the government. Makes winning the case ever so much easier.

It's really nuts.

that about sums it up

The approach of the modern debtor's prison, while horrible and bad and should be stopped, is that people are jailed for violating a court order, rather than failure to pay the underlying fine.

Of course, then there are the court orders to pay court fees, which you violate by not paying and then are thrown in prison for, so that's much more like debtor's prison.

Maybe some uber wealthy person can go around to these poor neighborhoods and pay everyone's fines...(it'd be better to stop the practice, of course)

Ugh, I didn't see your main post until now (reasons complicated). "We" voted for an administration that will punish people for no reason whatsoever.

Donate to ACLU, IRC, or the organization of your choice. Or give us a to-do list.

Donated to Center for Constitutional Rights and Planned Parenthood (wife did Drs w/o Borders) in December (among others) in prep for this coming disaster. Maybe need to add an immigration lawyer org as well - suggestions?

That and I set up a twitter account.

Thank you, Ugh.

wj: A traffic ticket is the civil violation most of us are most familiar with. And while most people just pay them, you do have a right to a hearing before a judge.

Here in MA you have the "right" to pay a fee to get a hearing from a judge, but only after the (almost invariably) adverse ruling of the "clerk magistrate" in your first hearing. For which you also have to pay a fee.

A trivial thing compared to what immigrants face, but a stark example of nuttiness IMO.

--TP

Really?!?!? OK, I believe you. But it definitely sounds crazy.

My experience here in California is that, if I want to contest a ticket, all I have to do is show up in court at the place and time given on the ticket. (Rather than just sending in a check to pay it.) No fee, no need to make prior arrangements, just show up and stand up when called.

I believe that the simple failure to pay constitutes notice of intent to contest. At least my experience was that the officer who wrote the ticket had shown up. He recommended that the judge dismiss the ticket "in the interests of justice". Which I took to mean he didn't remember the specifics and so couldn't testify to any effect. At which point, no cost to me at all (beyond my time, of course).

In short, a very different approach. And, in my innocence, I had just assumed it was the same way everywhere. Learn something new every day.

That's because California is run by a bunch of liberal squishes.

I did not pay a fee to contest at the clerk magistrate, in MA. Is that new? Also got two dismissed that way for pretty valid reasons.

Marty, I don't know how new. Last time I got a ticket was last millennium. Coworkers who had tickets in the last couple of years mentioned it. The current tariff appears to be $25 to contest (magistrate) and $50 to appeal (judge) per the MA court system FAQ.

--TP

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