Los Angeles County Supervisor Hilda L. Solis released the following statement after the Board of Supervisors approved her motion to submit a comment expressing the County’s opposition to proposed changes in appeals during immigration proceedings:

“For many immigrants having a fair day in court can mean the difference between living safely in the United States, or being permanently separated from their family, and even returned to a country where they may be persecuted or killed. Before such grave consequences are imposed by ordering a person’s removal, it is imperative that every immigrant before the immigration court — or Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) — get a fair hearing, as well as access to a robust appellate review process.

“On Aug. 26, 2020, the federal government published a proposal that would critically impact proceedings in immigration court and matters brought before the BIA. Significant changes include severely restricting the circumstances under which the BIA and immigrant judges can administratively close cases, which would make it more difficult for immediate relatives of U.S. citizens to legalize their immigration status.

“Even in the midst of a global pandemic, Trump continues to find ways to push his anti-immigrant agenda. As Trump trails in the polls in the run-up to the Nov. 3 election, he is attempting to appease his base by proposing a policy that would separate immigrant families, many of whom have compelling claims for humanitarian relief.

“It is troubling that under this proposed rule change, people may be denied a fair hearing based not on the merits of their cases, but on the capriciousness of a system filled with inequity. This proposed rule would inflict great harm to the fairness, due process, and access to justice for the nearly two million noncitizens who call LA County their home. In solidarity with our immigrant communities, refugees, and asylum seekers, LA County will oppose these misguided proposed changes.”

Today’s motion marks the 58th immigration motion Supervisor Solis has authored to protect, defend, and fight for the rights of immigrants since the 2016 presidential election. Her efforts include a motion to create sensitive locations throughout the County and the creation of the first-ever County Office of Immigrant Affairs. To view a complete list of these actions, please click here.

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Contact: Rosa Maria Santana, Deputy Director of Communications, rsantana@bos.lacounty.gov