President Trump has done more for illegal immigrant children in two weeks than President Obama did in two years, a prominent immigration lawyer has claimed.
Matthew Kolken said that a Justice Department memorandum issued after Trump took office ended the Obama-era practice of prioritizing unaccompanied children for deportation.
Kolken said that he thought that the President ‘has a heart’ when it comes to children who cross the border from Mexico on their own.
Kolken called for a reexamination of President Obama’s record on immigration and said that Democrats were guilty of ‘unbridled hypocrisy’ for criticizing President Trump when his predecessor was so harsh on migrants.
Despite remaining popular among Latinos, President Obama deported more people than any other president, earning him the nickname ‘Deporter in Chief’ among critics and activists.
According to government data some 2.5 million people were kicked out of the country between 2009 and 2015 during the Obama Presidency.
One of the most controversial programs was a memorandum from March 2015 which prioritized the fast-tracking of cases for children and families which became known as the ‘rocket docket’.
According to a report from Syracuse University, in New York, nearly 40,000 immigration cases used this system and 43 per cent were children who did not have access to a lawyer.
On January 31st after Trump became the president, that was changed.
The memorandum was signed off by MaryBeth Keller, the chief immigration judge for the Executive Office for Immigration Review, and said that unaccompanied children are ‘no longer the highest docketing and processing priority’.
Kolken, an immigration lawyer and the managing partner of Kolken & Kolken, located in Buffalo, New York, said that the memorandum meant that children ‘are being put to the back of the line for scheduling of cases’.
‘This means that it could be quite a long time before they have to have a hearing before a judge,’ Kolken said.
‘Maybe the President has a heart when it comes to unaccompanied children. There’s no other explanation’.
‘President Trump in two weeks has already done more for unaccompanied refugee children than Obama did in two years,’ Kolken added.
Kolken also said Obama’s prioritization of unaccompanied children for deportation was ‘easily the most inhumane immigration law in the last 20 years’.
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