The Tyranny of Mock Courts
To me there is a process issue in the awful oppression of our Immigration and Naturalization Courts and ICE. This oppression is the expression of a corrupt administration. But it is inherent in the constitution of the Immigration System. The fact that we have administrative courts at all is an inheritance of our Colonial and Feudal origins. I noted the injustice and wealth favoritism of our system when I made the half joking, very serious comparisons between admiralty courts and administrative courts in this previous post:
Administrative as Mock Courts, producing Mock Justice, via Mock Trials
The issue is that the INS courts are Administrative Courts which are Mocke courts administrating a mockery of Justice via Mock Trials.
That our system favors the gentry the wealthy. It includes features inherited from England, but also features setup by the Monarchal, privateering, kleptocratic and piratical colonial power of Britain prior to our own revolution and revolt from their rule. The Declaration of Independence was in part an expression of revolt from such courts, very like how our Immigration courts are functioning now. Indeed it's objections to British Tyranny included the following:
- "He has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary powers."
- "He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries."
- "For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury"
- "For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences"
- "For protecting them [troopers], by a mock Trial, from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States"
ICE Courts very like ISDS, Admiralty Courts and Star Chamber Courts
I first quoted this while critiquing the TPP and especially the Investor State Dispute Settlement courts, which sought to usurp the authority of ordinary courts in favor of courts very like the Admiralty courts that were created to divide up loot from pirate ships or shipwrecks.
The antecedents of the ISDS in Admiralty Courts and Star Chamber bodies struck me as absurd. The origins of the American Navy and British Navy, as pirate fleets struck me as very ironic. Tyranny and piracy go together like freedom for the wolf and getting served for dinner for the prey.
Similarly the purpose of the ISDS was to favor the larger Economic powers, Giant International Corporations and pirate fleets of predatory and mercenary lawyers who specialize in International Trade law. But even those bodies seem tame and just by comparison to what is going on with ICE right now.
ICE as Tyranny due to lack of Substantive Due Process
But now we have tyranny and courts similar to Star Chambers dispensing it, at our borders and when dealing with immigration issues. We have an unfair and unjust immigration system, dominated by the same kinds of courts that the founders complained of! They have the forms of procedural due process, but when judges are not independent of administrators and investigators, then substantive due process is missing. Administrative law fairly steps on substantive due process. The Nazis has the form of procedural due process, but due to the dishonesty, power and influence of authorities they had no substantive due process.
The Founders wanted to encourage immigration, not restrictive. One of the central complaints in the Declaration of Independence was:
“He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.”
Our current President is seeking to obstruct laws for naturalization, blocking immigration, and oppressing those seeking to come here.
ICE agents are separating Children from their parents, prosecuting people en-mass. Using administrative judges with no real independence, and forcing people to plea guilty to crimes they never committed to avoid long incarcerations and be promised to see their own children one day. The roots of this are bad constitution. No tyrant should have the power to impose such tyranny unilaterally as Trump, Sessions and the Department of Homeland Security are doing.
This is powerfully depressing stuff. I feel like I'm in 1920s Europe or 1930s Germany. Except Trump is such a Putz he's making Marx a Prophet.
- For the sources for this article read these earlier posts:
- The Ordinary (Federal And State) Courts denying Substantive Due Process:
- Declaration of Independence:
- Further Reading:
- Attorney General Sessions Announces Zero Tolerance
- Sarah Kendzior's weekly summary of evnents on our road to totalitarianism:
- This Weeks list:
- Week 83 when people finally started noticing!
- Ari Melber on this:
- "Any alien who
- enters or attempts to enter the United States at any time or place other than as designated by immigration officers, or
- eludes examination or inspection by immigration officers, or
- attempts to enter or obtains entry to the United States by a willfully false or misleading representation or the willful concealment of a material fact, shall, for the first commission of any such offense,
- be fined under Title 18 or imprisoned not more than 6 months, or both, and, for a subsequent commission of any such offense, be fined under Title 18, or imprisoned not more than 2 years, or both."
Clearly they are arbitrarily interpreting what "time or place" means and using that against people presenting themselves as refugees and seeking asylum.