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Op-Ed: Infant Immigration Court

Dorothy Reik

Opinion-Editorial by Dorothy Reik, President of the Progressive Democrats of The Santa Monica Mountains (

The bailiff called for the next defendant. A deputy brought in an infant of uncertain age wrapped in a blanket, only his or her brown sleeping face was visible. The baby had no attorney.

“State your name” the judge ordered.

The baby was silent. The judge repeated his order but the baby remained silent. The deputy reminded the judge that the baby could not speak.

By Dorothy Reik

“You are out of order” barked the judge.


The loud voice woke the baby who began squirming in the deputy’s arms. Under the blanket the infant’s legs kicked and it tried to move its arms from under its blanket.


“Make that baby hold still” the judge ordered.


The baby continued to kick and move its arms.


“Shackle that baby” the judge ordered.


Tiny handcuffs and leg irons were produced, and the baby’s tiny limbs were cuffed and shackled. The baby began to cry, softly at first, but then the cries got louder as the judge demanded a name and the nature of the abuse the baby was claiming in its refugee claim. The crying got even louder as the baby struggled against its shackles.

“That baby is disrupting the procedures” the judge screamed. “Gag it!”

“That baby is disrupting the procedures” the judge screamed. “Gag it!”


A tiny cloth was produced and forced between the baby’s lips and tied behind its head. The baby’s crying stopped. The deputy looked down at the baby who had stopped moving.


“I think the defendant is suffocating” the deputy called out.


“You are out of order!” the judged declared.


“The baby is dying! Let me remove the gag!” the deputy cried.


“Quiet and don’t touch that gag or I will hold you in contempt!”


The deputy fell silent.


“The defendant is obviously uncooperative, and violent. This infant does not deserve asylum” the judge ruled and ordered the baby deported.


“That will not be necessary” the deputy reported. “This defendant has expired.”


As the baby was carried out the judge called for the next defendant and another swaddled infant was carried in to face American justice.

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