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Do We Still Have a Right to a Fair Trial?

Last Wednesday at a press conference in Mississippi; Daniela Vargas told her family’s story. The beginning to a seemingly normal story, however, it appears that the story of her family has caught national attention.

As her story goes: she came to the US when she was seven as an undocumented immigrant from Argentina. Later, under the Obama administration, she was granted Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA status). This policy was put in place to allow certain undocumented minors become eligible to receive a renewable two-year deferred action.

Daniela’s DACA expired in November and she was unable to afford the $500 renewal fee so she had put it off until February. Short days after her eventual renewal, Daniela’s father and brother were taken into the custody of immigration officer’s and are now in the works of being deported. After sharing this story at the press conference, Daniela was detained by officers. There is now talk of her immediate deportation without a hearing in a process that is known as expedited removal.

How can this be? Doesn’t everyone get a right to a fair trail?  Well, in this case, under the trump administration it appears not. As a part of their “crack down on immigration” it does not seem that they have any desire for leeway.

As American citizens, this should be concerning to us. Certainly because of Daniela’s specific case, but also on a much broader stand point. As a nation that prides itself so highly on the right to a fair trial and “innocent until proven guilty”, can we continue to say that that’s true today? Certainly not in this particular case. Which begs the question; where do we draw the line? Are we a nation who prides themselves on a fair trail for all? Or just for those that we see fit? Or perhaps even just those that fit within our grounds of legality. While this may seem like a far stretch to make, I think it is incredibly reasonable considering the time we are currently in; a time where it seems those laws that have once moved us so far ahead of other nations are beginning to take us further back than many of us have ever imagined.

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