DOJ immigration judge claims 3-year-old children can represent themselves in court



Via The Seattle Times:A senior Justice Department official is arguing that 3- and 4-year-olds can learn immigration law well enough to represent themselves in court, staking out an unconventional position in a growing debate over whether immigrant children facing deportation are entitled to taxpayer-funded attorneys.

Jack Weil, a longtime immigration judge who is responsible for training other judges, made the assertion in sworn testimony in a deposition in federal court in Seattle. His comments highlighted the plight of thousands of juveniles who are forced to defend themselves each year in immigration court amid the surge of children crossing the southwest border from Central America.

“I’ve taught immigration law literally to 3-year-olds and 4-year-olds,’’ Weil said. “It takes a lot of time. It takes a lot of patience. They get it. It’s not the most efficient, but it can be done.’’ He repeated his claim twice in the deposition, also saying, “I’ve told you I have trained 3-year-olds and 4-year-olds in immigration law,’’ according to a transcript. “You can do a fair hearing. It’s going to take you a lot of time.’’

What a 3 year old typically "gets"...

What a 3 year old typically “gets”…

Legal and child psychology experts ridiculed Weil’s assertions, noting that key milestones for 3- and 4-year-olds include cooperating with other children, saying simple sentences and building towers of blocks.

“I nearly fell off my chair when I read that deposition,’’ said Laurence Steinberg, a psychology professor at Temple University, who is a witness for the plaintiffs in the Seattle case. “Three- and 4-year-olds do not yet have logical reasoning abilities. It’s preposterous, frankly, to think they could be taught enough about immigration law to be able to represent themselves in court.”

Weil’s deposition came in a case in which the American Civil Liberties Union and immigrant rights groups are seeking to require the government to provide appointed counsel for every indigent child who cannot afford a lawyer in immigration court proceedings. The Justice Department is contesting the lawsuit.

Weil, in a brief email, said his statements don’t “present an accurate assessment of my views on this topic’’ and were being “taken out of context.’’ He said he would need Justice Department permission to speak further and did not respond to subsequent emails.

Lauren Alder Reid, a spokeswoman for the department’s Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) said in a statement: “At no time has the Department indicated that 3 and 4 year olds are capable of representing themselves. Jack Weil was speaking in a personal capacity and his statements, therefore, do not necessarily represent the views of EOIR or the Department of Justice.’’

She added that Weil’s comments “must also be taken in context as part of a 4-hour deposition in which Mr. Weil spoke about various techniques, procedures, and safeguards that can be employed by immigration judges, as warranted, to provide fundamentally fair hearings to all respondents in immigration proceedings.’’

Weil is not just any immigration official. As an assistant chief immigration judge in EOIR’s Office of the Chief Immigration Judge – which sets and oversees policies for the nation’s 58 immigration courts – he is responsible for coordinating the Justice Department’s training of immigration judges.

Read the whole story here.


12 responses to “DOJ immigration judge claims 3-year-old children can represent themselves in court

  1. Well, progressives don’t believe anyone (including adults) needs to think at all about anything so this is perfectly reasonable for 3- 4 year olds. (Heck, left/libtards feel condoms and gay sex are okay for grade schoolers… and immigration law isn’t anything so icky, right?)


  2. it’s amazing that DOJ can allow 3-4 year old illegals to represent themselves in court, but American children have no say in the court system. the court decides for children in america and usually that decision is what’s best for CPS and big pharma. If families object to certain treatments or want a 2nd opinion, hospitals (using social services and police), take children away from their families and use them in medical research anyway.
    These children that are crossing the border into our country are basically dollar signs for big pharma, foster care, and adoption. Which is the same reason why American children are dollar signs to CPS and are stolen from loving, good homes so that government and social workers can earn a buck.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. maybe he says that because he’s used to dealing with dumbocraps who are essentially 3 to 4-year-olds mentally

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Why should the American taxpayer be held liable to pay for legal representation for ANY foreign national who has broken the law, regardless of age. Yes, we all weep for the children, but their parents sent them on this perilous journey. This feels like a punishment of the US taxpayer, whose pockets have been picked enough already!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I don’t know about you all…but I sure as heck remember when Janet Reno sent a swat team into the home of that 6-yr-old Cuban refugee at his relative’s home to ferret him out and deport him back to Cuba.


  5. Kevin J Lankford

    mexican children are an issue for mexican courts. they should be shuttled back across the border and left for mexican authorities to locate the parents, and perhaps prosecute them for abandonment.

    Sounds to me like the d.o.j. is just trying to play on our sympathies to avoid the real issues of illegal immigrants.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Kevin—I SO agree with you! For years and years I’ve tried to make people see or “note” that these Mexican children in our country (for whom we pay from the ground up for EVERYTHING) are NOT political refugees whom are in our country without their OWN country. They attend our “Free” public schools, but, as a teacher in a heavily “illegal-populated region” I can attest how these people freely traverse the border for months at a time to their “homeland” to stay with relatives…..b/c I have to make out months’-worth of “independent studies” for kids who “visit Grandma in Mexico” for many, many missed school days. (Which always comes back to bite us in the butt b/c we “stupid teachers” are then BLAMED for why these kids can’t speak English and also are not “on target” grade-wise with what they are supposed to have learned for that school year….). They are NOT here b/c they have no safe home, or not here b/c they will DIE or be persecuted or taken into slavery or sexually mutilated or sent into work camps or intentionally starved or rounded up into ghettos or any number of things historically connected to the ideation of a “refugee.”

      They are, instead, here in the USA b/c of personal economic gain. They can gain MORE here than THERE. In fact, the USA is the number ONE economic provider for the entire Mexican economy. This is the number ONE area where I agree with Trump: I’d tax the wired monies out of the USA to Mexico so high that it wouldn’t be worth sending any USA (untaxed, under the table) dollars down to Mexico. You wouldn’t HAVE to build a wall OR charge Mexico for it then…..they’d all leave here to either go back “home” or find another CHUMP nation to fleece.


      • awesome idea CalGirl!


      • Excellent comment. Perhaps, since our government pays each school per day for each student, we could deduct that amount for all the students here that are not citizens from the aid we send to their country yearly. Suddenly, their government would realize we mean business and become accountable for their own people.
        I am tired of being bullied into thinking unless we do certain things, we are a bad country.
        If you read up on the Mexican laws, we could never be allowed to get by with the same things there.
        As for 3/4 year olds representing themselves, is this judge on drugs? People here under 18 and arrested are not even allowed to talk to the authorities without representation. We have had children taken from parents for a whole lot less than what this judging is assuming.
        He should be defrocked.


  6. Regarding the Title: Why not? These Liberal Judges are ALREADY letting ’em choose which Parent they should be with in Divorce cases,decide which GENDER they want to be,and demand their own i-Phone-a BLUE one. God forbid we should make life changing decisions for a Child…… (sarc)


  7. I have a feeling pedophiles are really enjoying this whole set up…

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Pingback: DOJ immigration judge claims 3-year-old children can represent themselves in court | O LADO ESCURO DA LUA

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