Judge Says 3-Year-Olds Understand Immigration Law, Can Represent Themselves in Court

He said so under oath.

In totally ignorant ideas that Donald Trump would side with a U.S. judge has said 3-year-olds and 4-year-olds—children barely even in preschool—are capable of understanding immigration law and can represent themselves in a court of law. Trump of course has plans, recently slammed by Pope Francis, to build a wall between Mexico and the U.S. to prevent people from immigrating. That and he plans on instating a Muslim ban, which over 60 percent of southern voters agreed to on Super Tuesday

The Washington Post reports Justice Department judge who's assistant chief immigration judge in Executive Office for Immigration Review's Office of the Chief Immigration Jack H. Weil made the outlandish statement.  

According to the Washington Post Weil said, "I've taught immigration law literally to 3-year-olds and 4-year-olds. 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."

Weil's statement was part of a deposition given last year in October as a part of a case (still ongoing) in which the American Civil Liberties Union and immigrants rights groups sued the Justice Department requiring it to provide lawyers for minors under 18-years-old who can't afford one in immigration court. The ACLU just released transcript of Weil's deposition. 

What's even more alarming about Weil's statement is that, as the Washington Post writes, he trains other immigration judges for the Justice Department.   

Citing the Justice Department's data the Washington Post reports out of 20,000 unaccompanied children who appeared in deportation proceedings from July 2014 to December, almost half, at 42 percent, didn't have an attorney. 

Forget understanding immigration law, most of the children in these proceedings can't even speak English, depending on interpreters provided by the government. 

In proceedings children are reportedly asked questions including when they arrived in the United State and if they, "faced persecution in their home countries," writes the Washington Post. They may also be asked whether they prefer to be deported or leave the country at their own will. What 3-year-old is capable of making these life decisions?

Psychology professor at Temple University, Laurence Steinberg, a witness for the plaintiffs in the ACLU case said, "I nearly fell off my chair when I read that deposition. 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."

The Justice Department's Executive Office of Immigration Review released a statement with a spokeswoman saying Weil's statement didn't represent the EOIR:

"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."

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