Over the course of the Trump presidency, we have witnessed case after case of egregious offenses by ICE agents against immigrants. What’s more, the unshackled nature of the federal deportation force – and the chief executive’s consistently outrageous rhetoric about immigrants – have encouraged vigilantism to an unprecedented degree.
Consider the latest example, a Pennsylvania judge who thinks it’s totally fine to racially profile couples who come to her courtroom to get married. AV’s Van Le spells it out in a blog post here:
A racist judge in Pennsylvania redefined judicial activism last week when she called ICE on a couple that she was supposed to be marrying, for no other reason than the color of the groom’s skin.
Alexander Parker and Krisha Schmick were high school sweethearts who had been eagerly waiting to be married, but Judge Elizabeth Beckley refused to believe that Alexander was in the country legally.
Beckley was wrong, by the way — Alex was born in Guatemala but adopted by American parents when he was 8 months old. According to ProPublica, he doesn’t “speak Spanish or consider himself an immigrant, much less a deportable one”.
That didn’t stop Beckley and the ICE agents she called from holding up Alex and Krishna’s wedding, fingerprinting him without his permission, or threatening to take him away and put him in a detention center. Worse, this wasn’t Beckley’s first time calling ICE — a lawyer told Krishna that Beckley had called enforcement agents on at least one other couple who had come to the judge to be married. And whereas the misunderstanding with Alex was eventually cleared up, this other couple was not so lucky, and the groom and his best man were ultimately led away in handcuffs.
ICE agents, by the way, aren’t supposed to conduct operations at “sensitive locations” like courthouses, and it’s unclear why the agents who responded thought that separating a couple on their wedding day was a good reason to ignore that directive (or a good reason at all).
And Beckley, as a judge, should understand that making immigrants afraid of courthouses erodes trust in the law — though she’s apparently a graduate of Thomas M. Cooley Law School, one of the worst-ranked law schools in the nation, which is also the alma mater of Trump-fixer/lawyer Michael Cohen. Beckley and Cohen, in fact, were contemporaries at Cooley.
Beckley is an elected judge who last went before voters in 2017 and will be in office until 2024. She is also, alarmingly, the vice-chair of the Pennsylvania Judicial Conduct Board.