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The Washington Newsday
November 15, 2020

What is behind Trump’s project to defend “anarchist jurisdictions”?
By Jonathan Edwards

Only in the third and final presidential debate did Trump claim that immigrants, with the exception of immigrants with “low IQs,” do not appear at the hearings. This assertion contradicts a study by TRAC, which shows that of 47,000 immigrant families seeking asylum, 85 percent appear at their first hearing before the Immigration Court. Among those who have a lawyer, the figure is even higher, at 99.9 percent. Regardless of the facts, Trump’s claim that immigrants do not appear at the hearings-as does the claim that some jurisdictions are out of control-leads to an imaginary geography of widespread disorder that can be used to justify more illiberal and possibly illegal policies. The President’s attempt to invent imaginary spaces of widespread chaos and disorder continues to raise serious legal questions. Only this week the Supreme Court decided to hear arguments about whether the MPP is legal. The Trump administration’s attempt to withhold funds from “anarchist jurisdictions” was also challenged in court only this week.

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