BALTIMORE (WJZ) — The ACLU has filed an administrative complaint against a Baltimore immigration judge who they said is denying immigration lawyers’ the postponement of hearings or trial dates amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
#BreakingNews We filed an administrative complaint against a Baltimore immigration judge who is denying immigration lawyers’ to postpone hearings or trial dates. All government officials should follow the guidelines to curb the spread of #COVID19. https://t.co/14eRsTdiZV
— ACLU of Maryland (@ACLU_MD) March 17, 2020
The complaint alleges that Judge Crosland, a Baltimore immigration judge, is “refusing to follow public health experts’ recommendations, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Maryland Governor’s calls for social distancing by denying immigration lawyers’ emergency motions to continue, which would postpone hearings or trial dates.”
They are claiming that one immigrant was ordered to be deported by Judge Crosland because the man had failed to attend his hearing due to “fear of COVID-19,”
The ACLU also claims he has denied two other postponement attempts from another immigration lawyer who is set to appear before him later this week.
“Judge Crosland even went so far as to mock this immigration lawyer, saying in his denial that the judge is older than she is, as if that is a legitimate justification to deny her motion to postpone the hearing.” the ACLU said in a statement.
“Judge Crosland is not a public health expert,” said Nick Taichi Steiner, Staff Attorney for the ACLU of Maryland. “During this public health emergency, disregarding the guidance of public health officials meant to protect us could end with deadly consequences. Judge Crosland needs to be held accountable. He is choosing to categorically reject attempts to postpone immigration hearings, putting at risk vulnerable populations by forcing them to physically attend their immigration proceedings. No one should have to choose between the threat of deportation or of a severe illness that could lead to death.”