According to White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, immigrants can receive justice without a judge present.
“Just because you don’t see a judge doesn’t mean you don’t receive due process,” she said Monday.
“The president would like to see us stop people from illegally entering the country at all,” she went on. “The president would like us to secure the borders and have a very legal and easy immigration process so people can come here the right way.”
Higher judiciary powers have already beat Sanders to this decision, though. In 2001 the Supreme Court ruled in Zadvydas v. Davis that “the Due Process Clause [of the United States Constitution] applies to all persons within the United States, including aliens, whether their presence is lawful, unlawful, temporary, or permanent.”
The Supreme Court had something to say half a century ago, too. In 1953’s Kwong Hai Chew v. Colding, SCOTUS ruled 8-1: “Although Congress may prescribe conditions for his expulsion and deportation, not even Congress may expel him without allowing him a fair opportunity to be heard.”
But people trying to enter the country will likely see no form of justice from the Trump administration. The president himself mocked the idea of using the legal system at all when it comes to immigration cases, saying the border would serve justice, not a judge.
“Ultimately, we have to have a real border, not judges,” he said.
“Thousands and thousands of judges they want to hire. Who are these people” he went on. “When we vet a single federal judge it goes through a big process.”
It is not clear what “thousands and thousands” of judges he was referring to. Several proposed budgets and bills would at most bring a few hundred more immigration judges to the bench, but even then, there would be less than 1,000 judges in total.
Trump has made this already debunked claim before. In May he said on Fox, “We have thousands of judges, and they need thousands of more judges. The whole system is corrupt. It’s horrible.”
Adding thousands of judges wouldn’t be a bad thing, though. As of March, close to 700,000 immigration cases are still pending.