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Members of Colorado Delegation Call for Due Process Measures in Aurora Immigration Courtroom During COVID-19
Washington D.C.—Today, Congressman Joe Neguse, along with Senator Michael Bennet, Congressman Ed Perlmutter, Congresswoman Diana DeGette and Congressman Jason Crow sent a letter to ICE highlighting grave due process issues in the Aurora Immigration Courtroom and requesting immediate fixes to ensure fairness during COVID-19. The letter addressed to James McHenry, Director of the Executive Office for Immigration Review, and Matthew Albence, Acting Director for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement asks that additional due process measures be put into place for court proceedings that have been moved to the telephone due to the virus.
“We write to express deep concern regarding reports of due process issues inside the Aurora Immigration Courtroom as a result of COVID-19,” reads the letter. “To ensure as safe an environment as possible, immigration court hearings in the Aurora facility have been increasingly held by telephone, unavoidably affecting the due process rights of respondents. Additionally, due to current courtroom rules and practices, counsels’ ability to provide a strong defense for these complex, adversarial trials over the phone is greatly diminished.”
Read the letter here.
To ensure that attorneys are not forced to choose between limiting due process of their clients and putting them and their loved one’s safety at risk by attending hearings in-person, Congressman Neguse and the letter signers urge the implementation of common-sense changes inside the courtroom to address due process concerns, including:
Additionally, the letter calls for safety measures to be put in place in the courtroom that comply with CDC guidelines to reduce the spread of the virus, including: