Letters from the Issue of November 23, 2006

"You are sanctioning further police corruption"

Noel Cleland

Judges Can Be Good

Tough to be fair: I recently came across Emily Witt's article about immigration court in Miami, "Mock Trial" (October 19). I have practiced immigration law for nearly 29 years and have appeared before immigration judges in Miami, Orlando, Houston, and Baltimore. There are more than 200 of these judges in the United States. Most of them are capable of making the life-changing decisions required by the harsh rules Congress has enacted during the past twelve years without demeaning those people who appear before them to seek refuge. But there are judges who are less kind to immigrants. In regard to asylum cases, a great number of claims are referred to immigration court after having been considered and rejected by the Miami Asylum Office. A good percentage of the referred claims might not merit relief.

I have known Judge Bruce Solow for nearly twenty years and can tell you that he is a skilled jurist who is compassionate in every instance in which the person presents a truthful claim to lawfully remain in the United States. Judge Solow has a quick wit and self-deprecating humor that enable him to examine the plausibility and veracity of the stories he hears each day.

The immigration laws today are no longer as generous as they were before 1996. Judges serve a critical role in the administration and enforcement of these laws. In today's environment it is certainly a challenging position.

David Berger

Here Come da Judge

He really should be going: Regarding Trevor Aaronson's "Religious Conviction" (October 12), I think one has to evaluate Judge José Martinez in this fashion: He is the Banana Republic appointment to the bench.

First, he sat on a case involving the Archdiocese of Miami, did not disclose he is a Eucharistic minister, and subsequently threw out a jury verdict. We are in America, and the jury is supposed to have the last word. Judge Martinez elevated himself above the jury. We know from sordid historical events that the Vatican was a strong supporter of Mussolini and didn't say much about Hitler. What does that say about religious hypocrisy? Today the problem with the Vatican is covering up allegations of child abuse.

Second, Judge Martinez is a sports broadcaster for a commercial radio station that was in bankruptcy, even in his own courthouse. It's inconceivable that a sitting federal judge would continue to broadcast baseball, football, and basketball games. In truth he should be listening to and thinking about the people who come to his courthouse for justice, instead of babbling on the radio about sports. I have no way of knowing whether Coca-Cola advertises on that radio station, but he threw out that case in favor of thuggish behavior.

Third, Judge Martinez actually appeared at Department of Homeland Security headquarters, received an award, and posed for a photograph while sitting on at least one case against DHS.

Just what does Judge Martinez stand for other than Judge Martinez? Perhaps the newly elected Congress might ask him a few questions.

Eugene Cavicchi
Miami Beach

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