Once again, Democrats are trying to force taxpayers to foot the bill for illegal aliens. This time, it’s about providing them “free” attorneys at immigration hearings. Though the legislation is being marketed as being for minors, the misleadingly titled “Fair Day In Court for Kids Act” would benefit any illegal alien “whose circumstances are such that the appointment of counsel is necessary to help ensure fair resolution and efficient adjudication of the proceedings.” Make no mistake: the goal is to put taxpayers on the hook for lawyers for all illegal aliens facing deportation.
Because it is a civil proceeding, there is no constitutional right to an attorney in immigration court; the Sixth Amendment only guarantees the right to counsel to individuals in a criminal trial. This means that Americans must pay for their own attorney, should they want one, during a child custody battle, a divorce proceeding, or a landlord-tenant dispute, for example. Since immigration cases are not criminal, illegal aliens must similarly pay for an attorney.
By guaranteeing a taxpayer-subsidized attorney for their civil proceeding, Sen. Harry Reid’s new bill would effectively give illegal aliens greater rights than citizens.
It is true that some illegal alien children find themselves before an immigration judge, oftentimes as a result of their parents (who are already in the United States illegally) paying smugglers to bring them across the border. It can be a difficult situation for children, no doubt, and it’s unfortunate that the parents have put them in that situation. And it’s unfortunate that the Obama administration has encouraged people to risk their lives crossing the border, but that is precisely what Deferred Action has done. People respond to messaging, and many coming to our borders know they will get to stay in the United States for years, if not indefinitely, and perhaps receive work permits and other benefits just by showing up.
In any event, this bill isn’t really about the children