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ICE Chief Blames 9th Circuit for Increase in Undocumented Immigration

By George Khoury, Esq. on February 07, 2018 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

Immigration is a hot button issue across the nation, particularly in the current political climate where strict travel restrictions and a border wall are being sought after.

Relying on anecdotes and without citing actual evidence, the acting Director of the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement has stoked the flames and placed blame on the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals for basically encouraging undocumented immigration.

Another New Colossus?

According to Director Thomas Homan, undocumented immigrants are reading the news about Ninth Circuit decisions in favor of undocumented immigrants, as well as news about sanctuary cities. He believes the decisions and sanctuary cities encourage more individuals to try to come across the border undocumented. Homan has urged lawmakers to fix what he believed to be the root causes of undocumented immigration and spoke out against DACA and democrats.

However, even if Homan is right about the Ninth Circuit encouraging undocumented immigrants to cross the border, no immigrant really has to look any further than one of our nation's most prized national icons for encouragement. The Statue of Liberty's inscription, written by Emma Lazarus, and known as the New Colossus, in iconic fashion, tells the whole world that all are welcome in the U.S.A..

A Ninth to Remember

It should be noted that while the ICE director was making these claims that the Ninth Circuit encourages undocumented immigration, the appellate court ruled that an accompanied minor undocumented immigrant did not have a right to a government provided defense attorney despite facing deportation to a near certain death by gang violence in his home country.

It is not uncommon for the Ninth Circuit to face criticism for its most difficult decisions from those without adequate legal training, and especially those looking to demonize the West Coast court for being "liberal," like Homan (who notably only has a B.S. in criminal justice). The federal district and appellate courts across the country make decisions on a daily basis both for and against undocumented immigrants. The Ninth Circuit just gets more media attention than most circuits due to the fact that it is the largest, most active, circuit.

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