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Rep. Bass Responds To Reports Regarding Immigration Hearing Protocol

March 6, 2020
Press Release
WASHINGTON - Today, Rep. Karen Bass (D-Calif.) issued the following statement after reports emerged that the Executive Office for Immigration Review will pilot video-hearings (VTCs) for immigrant children who are detained in Houston.

"Imagine you’re an 8 year old child in a country you’ve never been to hundreds of miles from a home you will never see again and you’re walked into a courtroom with zero people in it. All that’s there is a TV screen showing you a judge, an ICE attorney and your interpreter.

"My office just got word last night that in three days, the Department of Justice will begin piloting this technique for immigrant children detained in Houston. Instead of being in the same courtroom as the judge, they will see their judge, who will be 800 miles away in Atlanta, on a screen.

"This will add to the trauma already experienced by the child throughout this ordeal but also data shows cases become unreasonably and unacceptably unfair when they take place by video. The Department of Justice must suspend this attempt to further traumatize children in its care."