Law in Contemporary Society

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IlanaDuttonSecondEssay 8 - 25 May 2023 - Main.IlanaDutton
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Finding my “why”

-- By IlanaDutton - 04 Apr 2023
 
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Finding my Why

 
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“So, what do you do for work?”
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-- By IlanaDutton - 04 Apr 2023
 
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It’s a casual question, and I’ll be ready with an answer.
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“So, what do you do for work?”
 
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“Oh, I’m an immigration attorney.”
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“I’m an immigration attorney.”
 
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Then the follow-up, “So what does that mean you do every day?”.
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Then the follow-up, “so what does that mean you do every day?”.
 
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In the future, I’ll have an answer with the specifics – whether I work with kids, survivors of gender-based violence, or detained or non-detained adults – but the underlying theme of the answer will be the same:
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In the future, I’ll have specifics – whether I work with kids, survivors of gender-based violence, detained or non-detained adults – but the core of the answer will be the same:
 
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“I help clients navigate the legal system in a variety of ways, including full representation, know-your-rights sessions, or just answering their questions. But I also work on immigration reform initiatives.”
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“I help clients navigate the legal system in a variety of ways, including full representation, know-your-rights sessions, or just answering their questions. I also work on immigration reform initiatives.”
 The next part of the conversation can go one of two ways.
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It’s either “Wow, that’s really cool/hard/powerful/important work. I could never do it.” And then we move on.
 
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Or
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It’s either “Wow, that’s really cool/hard/powerful/important. I could never do it.” And then we move on.

Or

“Wow, how did you get into that work?”

Which opens the door for my “why”?

My “why” starts at the University of Puget Sound my junior year of college in a class called Politics of Detention: Criminal Justice, Immigration, and War on Terror. The class leads to a semester internship with Northwest Immigrants’ Rights Project (NWIRP), where I get my first introduction to what my future could look like. The work is hard. I don’t know how to handle hearing client stories, but I’m learning every day. As I work with clients, the deep flaws in the system are so obvious and I’m hearing conversations about reform, advocacy, and abolition. But I’m focused on the day-to-day client work, so I don’t get too involved. I stay at NWIRP for another 1.5 years.

 
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*_Wow, how did you get into that work?;
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Post-grad, I move to New York City to work as a policy legal assistant at Her Justice. As a legal assistant, I work with survivors of gender-based violence. We write declarations and file applications. I'm liking my work and thinking about applying to law school. My role as a policy assistant shows me how client experiences can and should generate avenues for reform. While my organization was committed to reform, I sought out conversations about abolishing ICE and detention centers. I spoke to people about why they were doing this work and learned so much from them.
 
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Which opens the door for my why?__*
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My time at Her Justice showed me that my path forward is not only in policy or direct services. Instead, it is a hybrid. I provide clients with direct legal services, but I am also thinking about the big picture. I listen for patterns and pinpoint areas of the system that are acutely failing, like the delay in obtaining a work permit, and tackle those issues head-on.
 
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My “why” starts in a classroom at the University of Puget Sound. It’s called Politics of Detention: Criminal Justice, Immigration, and War on Terror. The class leads to a semester internship with Northwest Immigrants’ Rights Project (NWIRP), where I see what my future would look like if I were to work in immigration. The work is hard, and I don’t know how to handle hearing client stories, but I’m learning every day and it’s getting better. As I work with clients, the deep flaws in the system are so obvious and I’m starting actively listen to conversations about reform, advocacy, and abolition. But I’m so focused on the day-to-day client work, I don’t get too involved. I stay at NWIRP for another 1.5 years.
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When the work feels impossible, I'm reminded of what a professor once said: Freedom begins with the knowledge that other futures are possible. I know a different future exists, where the system is rooted in human dignity, and I spend my career working towards it.
 
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Post-grad, I move to New York City to work as a policy legal assistant at Her Justice. As a legal assistant, I work with survivors of gender-based violence. We write declarations and file applications. I'm still liking my work and thinking about applying to law school. My role as a policy assistant shows me how client interaction can and should reform avenues for reform. I am part of conversations about how to fix areas of the system that directly harm my clients. While my organization was committed to reform, I sought out conversations about abolishing ICE and detention centers. I spoke to people about why they were doing this work and learned so much from them.
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“What can immigration reform even look like, since it seems like Congress can’t get anything done?”
 
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My time at Her Justice showed me that my path forward is not only in policy or only direct services. Instead, it is a hybrid. I provide clients with quality legal services every day but I am also thinking about the big picture. I listen for patterns in client experiences and pinpoint areas of the system that are acutely failing, like the delay in obtaining a work permit, and tackle those issues head-on.
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I give the answer I’ve been giving since I started this work. A nod and an eye roll. The eye role is a deflection though. I spend my career seeing firsthand the pain that gridlock in Congress causes and its more dangerous than my eye roll lets on. So that’s leads to the question of why. Why can Congress not move on this issue that is critical to both human safety and the long-term economic prospects of this country?
 
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When the work feels impossible, I'm reminded of what a professor once said: Freedom begins with the knowledge that other futures are possible. I know a different future exists, where the system works, and I spend my career working towards it.
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The answer is fear.
 
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*So, there’s clearly a lot of problems, but it seems like Congress is totally stuck on this, right?*
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Using Black and Brown people to scare white people is a tactic that goes back to the arrival of the first enslaved people to the U.S. in 1619. The tactic has taken different forms since then, but in its current iteration, people (typically Republicans, but not all Democrats are guilt-free on this) focus on the one-off instances of undocumented people committing acts of violence or taking “American jobs.” By emphasizing the “danger” of undocumented people in the U.S., Republicans can stir up their base and make it politically unpopular for Democrats to work towards humane immigration reform.
 
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To those who are casual observers of the news or the immigration system, it would seem like the current Congress is a
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“So, how would you fix it?”
 
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*So, what would you do?* This question makes me nervous. People look at me expectantly, searching for an answer to solve this huge crisis. From experience, I’ve learned few people are looking for a history lesson about how the U.S.-Mexico border in its current form came to be (See Revisionist History: General Chapman’s Last Stand). People want quick fixes. I’ll give an answer:
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There are the quick answers (even though none of them are simple):
 “Increase access to representation or develop a system that doesn’t actually need lawyers by simplifying forms.”
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 “Abolish ICE and immigration detention.”
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None of these answers solve the problem on their own. Just increasing access to representation won’t help the backlog of cases, but just hiring more immigration judges won’t fix the inhumane policies being implemented today. While abolishing ICE and detention is important, just getting rid of the structures that hold people won’t fix the bigger problem of the system as it stands today. It’s going to take a multi-faceted approach, that fixes the problem from multiple angles at once to make a meaningful difference.
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But a lot of those are problems that require Congressional action, so the better question seems to be:
 
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We need to develop a system rooted in human dignity and understanding, and that is navigable regardless of background or education level. It’s a system that needs to be built by the people who have been impacted by it since they have seen firsthand the failings of the system as it stands today. It is a system that considers the whole person, the reason that they came to the U.S., and what they will contribute to this country. It does not leave people in limbo, in unsafe border towns, or locked in a cage because of the internal failings of the system.
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What can we do to combat Republican fearmongering and make this an issue that Democrats are willing to fight for?
 
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Building this version of immigration won't come easy, but it's an essential process and one that I am excited to be a part of. As someone who has not been directly impacted by the system, I hope to use my legal education to support and amplify the voices of the people on the front lines of this fight, all the while providing quality representation to the people stuck in the system as it exists today.
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Answering this question requires reflecting on how the media portrays immigration issues today and what it would take for people with a vision for a humane immigration system to take control of that narrative. People not directly impacted by the immigration system seem to only pay attention when there is an extreme tragedy on the border, an undocumented person commits a crime, or when a politician is using human lives as a political tool. When the coverage is focused on the tragedies at the border, we have a short attention span and move on to the next crisis instead of deeply reflecting on the human cost.
 
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Immigration attorneys and organizers should use their voices to push immigration stories to the front headlines that show that the fearmongering is false. They should talk openly and often about the human tragedy that the system creates. But they should also talk about immigrant success and joy. They should talk about the value, both culturally and economically, that immigrants bring to society in concrete terms.
 
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On the substance of your statement it seems to me you can attain more clarity by starting with the political reasons that the two parties in Congress cannot actually deliver, and feel no political pressure to deliver, a working immigration system. If we being by reminding the reader precisely why nothing changes, we can ore easily convey the complexities of the subject without being immediately boxed in by the partisan fear structures.
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While this is not a fix to the system or an in-depth proposal about immigration reform, reclaiming the narrative of immigration will lay the groundwork for meaningful reform in the future.
 
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How will immigrants rights organizations (which have attained through their organizing and intellectual contributions very great political influence) find their way to a breakthrough on behalf of their clients and constituents? Theirs are the single most important set of decisions that will be made over the next five to ten years, as everyone else remains constrained by their own political devices. You have well defined the why of your practice. You are right that the what will develop in your mind as you go. But these basic strategic realities will stay with you for years to come, and it's not too soon to start wrestling with them.
 



IlanaDuttonSecondEssay 7 - 23 May 2023 - Main.IlanaDutton
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 Then the follow-up, “So what does that mean you do every day?”.
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In the future, I’ll have an answer with the specifics – whether I work with kids, survivors of gender-based violence, detained or non-detained adults – but the underlying theme of the answer will be the same:
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In the future, I’ll have an answer with the specifics – whether I work with kids, survivors of gender-based violence, or detained or non-detained adults – but the underlying theme of the answer will be the same:
 “I help clients navigate the legal system in a variety of ways, including full representation, know-your-rights sessions, or just answering their questions. But I also work on immigration reform initiatives.”
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 It’s either “Wow, that’s really cool/hard/powerful/important work. I could never do it.” And then we move on.

Or

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* “Wow, how did you get into that work?”
 
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Which opens the door for my “why”?*
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*_Wow, how did you get into that work?;
 
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My “why” starts in a classroom at the University of Puget Sound my junior year of college. It’s called Politics of Detention: Criminal Justice, Immigration, and War on Terror. The class leads to a semester internship with Northwest Immigrants’ Rights Project (NWIRP), where I get my first introduction to what my future would look like if I were to work in immigration. The work is hard, and I don’t know how to handle hearing client stories, but I’m learning every day and it’s getting better. As I work with clients, the deep flaws in the system are so obvious and I’m starting actively listen to conversations about reform, advocacy, and abolition. But I’m so focused on the day-to-day client work, I don’t get too involved. I stay at NWIRP for another 1.5 years.
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Which opens the door for my why?__*
 
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The time comes for a post-grad job, and I move to New York City to work as a policy legal assistant at Her Justice. As a legal assistant, I work with survivors of gender-based violence to help them find immigration relief. We write declarations, write affidavits, and file applications. It’s a lot like the work I was doing at NWIRP and I’m still enjoying it. What makes my time at Her Justice transformational was the part of my job dedicated to policy work. I took what I was learning in client interactions and brought them to the policy team as areas for reform. Now, I was part of conversations about the flaws in the system and what we could do about them. While my organization was committed to reform, I sought out conversations about abolishing ICE and detention centers. I spoke to people about why they were doing this work and learned so much from them.
>
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My “why” starts in a classroom at the University of Puget Sound. It’s called Politics of Detention: Criminal Justice, Immigration, and War on Terror. The class leads to a semester internship with Northwest Immigrants’ Rights Project (NWIRP), where I see what my future would look like if I were to work in immigration. The work is hard, and I don’t know how to handle hearing client stories, but I’m learning every day and it’s getting better. As I work with clients, the deep flaws in the system are so obvious and I’m starting actively listen to conversations about reform, advocacy, and abolition. But I’m so focused on the day-to-day client work, I don’t get too involved. I stay at NWIRP for another 1.5 years.
 
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In my split role, I saw the value of existing in both worlds. My client work showed me the real-life impact of systemic flaws and my policy work gave me an avenue to address those flaws instead of just being stuck in the reality of them. When the policy work got frustrating, the “why” was usually my next meeting. A client stuck in a system that treated them like a number instead of a person. My “why” developed, and I was no longer just focused on representation, but I was starting to imagine what a new system could look like.
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Post-grad, I move to New York City to work as a policy legal assistant at Her Justice. As a legal assistant, I work with survivors of gender-based violence. We write declarations and file applications. I'm still liking my work and thinking about applying to law school. My role as a policy assistant shows me how client interaction can and should reform avenues for reform. I am part of conversations about how to fix areas of the system that directly harm my clients. While my organization was committed to reform, I sought out conversations about abolishing ICE and detention centers. I spoke to people about why they were doing this work and learned so much from them.
 
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“So, there’s clearly a lot of problems, but how would we even fix them?”
>
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My time at Her Justice showed me that my path forward is not only in policy or only direct services. Instead, it is a hybrid. I provide clients with quality legal services every day but I am also thinking about the big picture. I listen for patterns in client experiences and pinpoint areas of the system that are acutely failing, like the delay in obtaining a work permit, and tackle those issues head-on.
 
Added:
>
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When the work feels impossible, I'm reminded of what a professor once said: Freedom begins with the knowledge that other futures are possible. I know a different future exists, where the system works, and I spend my career working towards it.

*So, there’s clearly a lot of problems, but it seems like Congress is totally stuck on this, right?*

To those who are casual observers of the news or the immigration system, it would seem like the current Congress is a

*So, what would you do?*

  This question makes me nervous. People look at me expectantly, searching for an answer to solve this huge crisis. From experience, I’ve learned few people are looking for a history lesson about how the U.S.-Mexico border in its current form came to be (See Revisionist History: General Chapman’s Last Stand). People want quick fixes. I’ll give an answer:

“Increase access to representation or develop a system that doesn’t actually need lawyers by simplifying forms.”

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 We need to develop a system rooted in human dignity and understanding, and that is navigable regardless of background or education level. It’s a system that needs to be built by the people who have been impacted by it since they have seen firsthand the failings of the system as it stands today. It is a system that considers the whole person, the reason that they came to the U.S., and what they will contribute to this country. It does not leave people in limbo, in unsafe border towns, or locked in a cage because of the internal failings of the system.
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Building this version of immigration won’t come easy, but it’s an essential process and one that I am excited to be a part of. As someone who has not been directly impacted by the system, I hope to use my legal education to support and amplify the voices of the people on the front lines of this fight, all the while providing quality representation to the people stuck in the system as it exists today.
>
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Building this version of immigration won't come easy, but it's an essential process and one that I am excited to be a part of. As someone who has not been directly impacted by the system, I hope to use my legal education to support and amplify the voices of the people on the front lines of this fight, all the while providing quality representation to the people stuck in the system as it exists today.
 
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A very successful rethinking of what to write about.

From the standpoint of execution, this draft could use some tightening. You often use two words or phrases where either one would do but you don't want to make a choice. These are the sorts of editorial ruthlessness it will help you very much to cultivate.

  On the substance of your statement it seems to me you can attain more clarity by starting with the political reasons that the two parties in Congress cannot actually deliver, and feel no political pressure to deliver, a working immigration system. If we being by reminding the reader precisely why nothing changes, we can ore easily convey the complexities of the subject without being immediately boxed in by the partisan fear structures.

IlanaDuttonSecondEssay 6 - 21 May 2023 - Main.EbenMoglen
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 None of these answers solve the problem on their own. Just increasing access to representation won’t help the backlog of cases, but just hiring more immigration judges won’t fix the inhumane policies being implemented today. While abolishing ICE and detention is important, just getting rid of the structures that hold people won’t fix the bigger problem of the system as it stands today. It’s going to take a multi-faceted approach, that fixes the problem from multiple angles at once to make a meaningful difference.

We need to develop a system rooted in human dignity and understanding, and that is navigable regardless of background or education level. It’s a system that needs to be built by the people who have been impacted by it since they have seen firsthand the failings of the system as it stands today. It is a system that considers the whole person, the reason that they came to the U.S., and what they will contribute to this country. It does not leave people in limbo, in unsafe border towns, or locked in a cage because of the internal failings of the system.

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 Building this version of immigration won’t come easy, but it’s an essential process and one that I am excited to be a part of. As someone who has not been directly impacted by the system, I hope to use my legal education to support and amplify the voices of the people on the front lines of this fight, all the while providing quality representation to the people stuck in the system as it exists today.

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A very successful rethinking of what to write about.

From the standpoint of execution, this draft could use some tightening. You often use two words or phrases where either one would do but you don't want to make a choice. These are the sorts of editorial ruthlessness it will help you very much to cultivate.

On the substance of your statement it seems to me you can attain more clarity by starting with the political reasons that the two parties in Congress cannot actually deliver, and feel no political pressure to deliver, a working immigration system. If we being by reminding the reader precisely why nothing changes, we can ore easily convey the complexities of the subject without being immediately boxed in by the partisan fear structures.

How will immigrants rights organizations (which have attained through their organizing and intellectual contributions very great political influence) find their way to a breakthrough on behalf of their clients and constituents? Theirs are the single most important set of decisions that will be made over the next five to ten years, as everyone else remains constrained by their own political devices. You have well defined the why of your practice. You are right that the what will develop in your mind as you go. But these basic strategic realities will stay with you for years to come, and it's not too soon to start wrestling with them.

 
You are entitled to restrict access to your paper if you want to. But we all derive immense benefit from reading one another's work, and I hope you won't feel the need unless the subject matter is personal and its disclosure would be harmful or undesirable.

IlanaDuttonSecondEssay 5 - 06 May 2023 - Main.MichaelPari
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Hi Ilana! I found reading your essay thought-provoking both on an immigration front, and as it relates to my own career as I search for what my why is. As someone whose grandmother immigrated into the country, and told me stories about what her life was like for her when she first arrived, I commend the commitment to such important work. Also, acknowledging different possibilities as to what your career may look like is something I'm trying to work on myself, and seeing someone acknowledge their own may take many different forms is reaffirming. Also, I appreciate your perspective on what has to happen once many wrongs are eliminated from the immigration system. Picking out problems is important in and of itself, but discussing what to do after them is critical, and I enjoyed reading your thoughts.

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IlanaDuttonSecondEssay 4 - 02 May 2023 - Main.IlanaDutton
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Thinking About Trump's Indictment from an Abolitionist Perspective

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Finding my “why”

 -- By IlanaDutton - 04 Apr 2023
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On April 4th, 2023, former-President Trump was indicted and arraigned in Manhattan. While my initial reaction to his indictment was one of excitement, after reflecting on it, I realized being excited that someone was entering the criminal legal system was contrary to my abolitionist beliefs. Since then, I’ve been thinking about how principles of abolition could apply to white-collar crime in an effective way and how it should extend.
 
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Abolition

Abolition refers to the movement of dismantling the carceral system in the United States and instead constructing and investing in systems, practices, and resources that make it possible to abolish the system. The movement is rooted in three separate principles. First, incarceration does not meet any of the supposed goals of punishment, which are deterrence, incapacitation, rehabilitation, and retribution. Second, incarceration creates tangible harm at the community and individual levels. And finally, the institutions of incarceration and policing in the U.S. continue a history of white supremacy and racism. Abolitionists argue that the criminal legal system as it currently stands perpetuates oppression and can do more harm than good in creating a safer society. Dismantling the carceral system does not only mean eliminating places of imprisonment, but it means considering how we distribute resources and how we address conflict and harm in a world without imprisonment. Instead of thinking about deterrence, abolitionists think about how to build systems to prevent interpersonal harm by focusing on the material, social, and environmental conditions that often lead to it. Abolitionist scholarship recognizes that there will be harm in society, but challenges people to think about whether institutions exist that could respond more effectively to harms that are perpetuated Abolitionists push for restorative and transformative justice to promote accountability and repair the damage that violence can do to a community.
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“So, what do you do for work?”

It’s a casual question, and I’ll be ready with an answer.

“Oh, I’m an immigration attorney.”

Then the follow-up, “So what does that mean you do every day?”.

In the future, I’ll have an answer with the specifics – whether I work with kids, survivors of gender-based violence, detained or non-detained adults – but the underlying theme of the answer will be the same:

“I help clients navigate the legal system in a variety of ways, including full representation, know-your-rights sessions, or just answering their questions. But I also work on immigration reform initiatives.”

The next part of the conversation can go one of two ways. It’s either “Wow, that’s really cool/hard/powerful/important work. I could never do it.” And then we move on.

Or * “Wow, how did you get into that work?”

 
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Which opens the door for my “why”?*
 
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Trump's Indictment

Donald Trump was charged with falsifying business records to conceal damaging information and unlawful activity from voters before and during the 2016 election. The indictment charges the former president with 34 counts of falsifying business records in the first degree, in violation of New York Penal Law 175.10. These charges are connected to hush money payments that Trump made to various individuals in order to conceal damaging information. According to District Attorney Bragg, the payments were made prior to the election, and once he was elected, Trump reimbursed individuals with checks processed through the Trump organization and disguised the payments as those made for legal services.
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My “why” starts in a classroom at the University of Puget Sound my junior year of college. It’s called Politics of Detention: Criminal Justice, Immigration, and War on Terror. The class leads to a semester internship with Northwest Immigrants’ Rights Project (NWIRP), where I get my first introduction to what my future would look like if I were to work in immigration. The work is hard, and I don’t know how to handle hearing client stories, but I’m learning every day and it’s getting better. As I work with clients, the deep flaws in the system are so obvious and I’m starting actively listen to conversations about reform, advocacy, and abolition. But I’m so focused on the day-to-day client work, I don’t get too involved. I stay at NWIRP for another 1.5 years. The time comes for a post-grad job, and I move to New York City to work as a policy legal assistant at Her Justice. As a legal assistant, I work with survivors of gender-based violence to help them find immigration relief. We write declarations, write affidavits, and file applications. It’s a lot like the work I was doing at NWIRP and I’m still enjoying it. What makes my time at Her Justice transformational was the part of my job dedicated to policy work. I took what I was learning in client interactions and brought them to the policy team as areas for reform. Now, I was part of conversations about the flaws in the system and what we could do about them. While my organization was committed to reform, I sought out conversations about abolishing ICE and detention centers. I spoke to people about why they were doing this work and learned so much from them. In my split role, I saw the value of existing in both worlds. My client work showed me the real-life impact of systemic flaws and my policy work gave me an avenue to address those flaws instead of just being stuck in the reality of them. When the policy work got frustrating, the “why” was usually my next meeting. A client stuck in a system that treated them like a number instead of a person. My “why” developed, and I was no longer just focused on representation, but I was starting to imagine what a new system could look like.
 
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A Note on White-Collar Crime

For the context of this essay, I am thinking about white-collar crime as “illegal or unethical acts that violate fiduciary responsibility of public trust, committed by an individual or organization, usually during the course of legitimate occupational activity, by persons of high or respectable social status for personal or organizational gain” (Gerald Cliff & Christian Desilets, White Collar Crime: What It Is and Where It’s Going, 28 NOTRE DAME J. OF L., ETHICS & PUB. POL’Y 481, 487). This definition provides a helpful framework when thinking about white-collar crime from the abolitionist perspective, which I will do in the next section, since it focuses on the status of the individual, which provides an interesting challenge to the abolitionist perspective that crime is rooted in socioeconomic disparity.
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“So, there’s clearly a lot of problems, but how would we even fix them?”
 
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This question makes me nervous. People look at me expectantly, searching for an answer to solve this huge crisis. From experience, I’ve learned few people are looking for a history lesson about how the U.S.-Mexico border in its current form came to be (See Revisionist History: General Chapman’s Last Stand). People want quick fixes. I’ll give an answer:
 
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Reconciling the Perspectives

Given the principles of abolition outlined above, we do not often think about abolition as it applies to white-collar crime like the ones that the former President has been charged with. The abolitionist movement in the United States is tied to the fight against slavery and racism in the United States and as a result, white-collar crime is rarely at the forefront of the discussion. The indictment of the former President raises questions about whether abolition can extend to white-collar crime and if yes, what that should look like. The typical policy response to white-collar crime encourages expanding the carceral system. White-collar crime is underenforced throughout the United States. For example, the crime that the former President has been charged with is a common crime in the State of New York that is rarely prosecuted. Most policy proposals to address underenforcement focus on increasing the use of carceral institutions to punish white-collar criminals. While many see this as a good thing, since it would represent an equal application of the law, it would also require the expansion of a carceral state, which contradicts the goals of abolition. At first glance, it is difficult to apply the principles of abolition to white-collar crime. It is hard to say that white-collar crime is perpetuated by an unequal distribution of resources and that an increase in social infrastructure could mitigate harm in the long term. In the case of the Trump indictment, thinking about it from an abolitionist perspective requires considering whether there is an avenue to accountability without incarceration (even though it is quite unlikely he will be incarcerated). When I think about non-carceral punishments for white-collar crimes, I think about money sanctions or increased regulation over business dealings to deter future behavior. For Trump, we could consider occupational restrictions relating to his 2024 campaign, but I am not sure what that would look like in practice. By investing less in the carceral system, we could reinvest money into agencies to implement these non-carceral solutions.
>
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“Increase access to representation or develop a system that doesn’t actually need lawyers by simplifying forms.”
 
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Conclusion

The issue of Trump’s indictment and the carceral system raises a lot of questions for me. He is someone who has, in my opinion, perpetuated harm that deserves punishment. On the other hand, I do not think the criminal legal system as it stands should exist, leaving me in a gray area regarding what to do with the former President. There is no right answer, especially since abolitionism is a constantly evolving school of thought, but I think it is important to think about how it applies to instances like this. Moving towards a world without prisons means a world without prisons for everyone, including the wealthy, so we need to start to think about what that means.
>
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“Develop more humane policies for people fleeing from violence.”
 
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“Hire more immigration judges.”
 
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The present draft takes as its premise that anyone who wants to abandon the American system of imprisonment therefore believes that no one should be in custody. I don't think that is likely to be true. Custodial confinement is a basic attribute of the State in its role as keeper of public order. There are always some people in custody, and—as Justice Rehnquist infamously held in Schall v. Martin, children are always in someone's custody.
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“Go back in time and undo the harm the U.S. did in Central and South America which has led to the increased need for asylum-seeking in the region.”
 
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In the 21st century, electronic means of arranging for home confinement will make house arrest an increasingly common form of custody. That will no doubt be more available to the wealthy and those with high social capital.
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“Abolish ICE and immigration detention.”
 
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But there will always be reasons, including reputational penalties, involved in being held in state institutional custody rather than by surveillance robots at home. I have referred before to Dutch prisons, some of which are designed to hold dangerous, violent offenders, and some of which are intended for a general social population, none of which are designed—like our "country clubs," for the well-to-do and the reputable, but all of which are dignified, humane, and lawful in their operation. If Donald Trump could be sent to serve a sentence in Nieuw Vosselveld, I should not be in the least opposed.
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None of these answers solve the problem on their own. Just increasing access to representation won’t help the backlog of cases, but just hiring more immigration judges won’t fix the inhumane policies being implemented today. While abolishing ICE and detention is important, just getting rid of the structures that hold people won’t fix the bigger problem of the system as it stands today. It’s going to take a multi-faceted approach, that fixes the problem from multiple angles at once to make a meaningful difference.
 
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So is this a dispute about things or about words? Are we trying to justify an adjective or to define the practical realities of what we would consider to be a just and achievable society? If the latter, I think the next draft should strike directly at those practical conclusions, rather than worrying about what someone else would label the position.
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We need to develop a system rooted in human dignity and understanding, and that is navigable regardless of background or education level. It’s a system that needs to be built by the people who have been impacted by it since they have seen firsthand the failings of the system as it stands today. It is a system that considers the whole person, the reason that they came to the U.S., and what they will contribute to this country. It does not leave people in limbo, in unsafe border towns, or locked in a cage because of the internal failings of the system. Building this version of immigration won’t come easy, but it’s an essential process and one that I am excited to be a part of. As someone who has not been directly impacted by the system, I hope to use my legal education to support and amplify the voices of the people on the front lines of this fight, all the while providing quality representation to the people stuck in the system as it exists today.
 



IlanaDuttonSecondEssay 3 - 19 Apr 2023 - Main.EbenMoglen
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META TOPICPARENT name="SecondEssay"
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It is strongly recommended that you include your outline in the body of your essay by using the outline as section titles. The headings below are there to remind you how section and subsection titles are formatted.
 

Thinking About Trump's Indictment from an Abolitionist Perspective

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  The issue of Trump’s indictment and the carceral system raises a lot of questions for me. He is someone who has, in my opinion, perpetuated harm that deserves punishment. On the other hand, I do not think the criminal legal system as it stands should exist, leaving me in a gray area regarding what to do with the former President. There is no right answer, especially since abolitionism is a constantly evolving school of thought, but I think it is important to think about how it applies to instances like this. Moving towards a world without prisons means a world without prisons for everyone, including the wealthy, so we need to start to think about what that means.
Added:
>
>
The present draft takes as its premise that anyone who wants to abandon the American system of imprisonment therefore believes that no one should be in custody. I don't think that is likely to be true. Custodial confinement is a basic attribute of the State in its role as keeper of public order. There are always some people in custody, and—as Justice Rehnquist infamously held in Schall v. Martin, children are always in someone's custody.

In the 21st century, electronic means of arranging for home confinement will make house arrest an increasingly common form of custody. That will no doubt be more available to the wealthy and those with high social capital.

But there will always be reasons, including reputational penalties, involved in being held in state institutional custody rather than by surveillance robots at home. I have referred before to Dutch prisons, some of which are designed to hold dangerous, violent offenders, and some of which are intended for a general social population, none of which are designed—like our "country clubs," for the well-to-do and the reputable, but all of which are dignified, humane, and lawful in their operation. If Donald Trump could be sent to serve a sentence in Nieuw Vosselveld, I should not be in the least opposed.

So is this a dispute about things or about words? Are we trying to justify an adjective or to define the practical realities of what we would consider to be a just and achievable society? If the latter, I think the next draft should strike directly at those practical conclusions, rather than worrying about what someone else would label the position.

 
You are entitled to restrict access to your paper if you want to. But we all derive immense benefit from reading one another's work, and I hope you won't feel the need unless the subject matter is personal and its disclosure would be harmful or undesirable.

IlanaDuttonSecondEssay 2 - 07 Apr 2023 - Main.IlanaDutton
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 It is strongly recommended that you include your outline in the body of your essay by using the outline as section titles. The headings below are there to remind you how section and subsection titles are formatted.
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 -- By IlanaDutton - 04 Apr 2023
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On April 4th, 2023, former-President Trump was indicted in Manhattan

Trump's Indictment

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On April 4th, 2023, former-President Trump was indicted and arraigned in Manhattan. While my initial reaction to his indictment was one of excitement, after reflecting on it, I realized being excited that someone was entering the criminal legal system was contrary to my abolitionist beliefs. Since then, I’ve been thinking about how principles of abolition could apply to white-collar crime in an effective way and how it should extend.
 
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Subsection A

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Abolition

Abolition refers to the movement of dismantling the carceral system in the United States and instead constructing and investing in systems, practices, and resources that make it possible to abolish the system. The movement is rooted in three separate principles. First, incarceration does not meet any of the supposed goals of punishment, which are deterrence, incapacitation, rehabilitation, and retribution. Second, incarceration creates tangible harm at the community and individual levels. And finally, the institutions of incarceration and policing in the U.S. continue a history of white supremacy and racism. Abolitionists argue that the criminal legal system as it currently stands perpetuates oppression and can do more harm than good in creating a safer society. Dismantling the carceral system does not only mean eliminating places of imprisonment, but it means considering how we distribute resources and how we address conflict and harm in a world without imprisonment. Instead of thinking about deterrence, abolitionists think about how to build systems to prevent interpersonal harm by focusing on the material, social, and environmental conditions that often lead to it. Abolitionist scholarship recognizes that there will be harm in society, but challenges people to think about whether institutions exist that could respond more effectively to harms that are perpetuated Abolitionists push for restorative and transformative justice to promote accountability and repair the damage that violence can do to a community.
 
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Subsection B

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Trump's Indictment

Donald Trump was charged with falsifying business records to conceal damaging information and unlawful activity from voters before and during the 2016 election. The indictment charges the former president with 34 counts of falsifying business records in the first degree, in violation of New York Penal Law 175.10. These charges are connected to hush money payments that Trump made to various individuals in order to conceal damaging information. According to District Attorney Bragg, the payments were made prior to the election, and once he was elected, Trump reimbursed individuals with checks processed through the Trump organization and disguised the payments as those made for legal services.
 
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Abolition
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A Note on White-Collar Crime

For the context of this essay, I am thinking about white-collar crime as “illegal or unethical acts that violate fiduciary responsibility of public trust, committed by an individual or organization, usually during the course of legitimate occupational activity, by persons of high or respectable social status for personal or organizational gain” (Gerald Cliff & Christian Desilets, White Collar Crime: What It Is and Where It’s Going, 28 NOTRE DAME J. OF L., ETHICS & PUB. POL’Y 481, 487). This definition provides a helpful framework when thinking about white-collar crime from the abolitionist perspective, which I will do in the next section, since it focuses on the status of the individual, which provides an interesting challenge to the abolitionist perspective that crime is rooted in socioeconomic disparity.
 
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Subsection A

 

Reconciling the Perspectives

Added:
>
>
Given the principles of abolition outlined above, we do not often think about abolition as it applies to white-collar crime like the ones that the former President has been charged with. The abolitionist movement in the United States is tied to the fight against slavery and racism in the United States and as a result, white-collar crime is rarely at the forefront of the discussion. The indictment of the former President raises questions about whether abolition can extend to white-collar crime and if yes, what that should look like. The typical policy response to white-collar crime encourages expanding the carceral system. White-collar crime is underenforced throughout the United States. For example, the crime that the former President has been charged with is a common crime in the State of New York that is rarely prosecuted. Most policy proposals to address underenforcement focus on increasing the use of carceral institutions to punish white-collar criminals. While many see this as a good thing, since it would represent an equal application of the law, it would also require the expansion of a carceral state, which contradicts the goals of abolition. At first glance, it is difficult to apply the principles of abolition to white-collar crime. It is hard to say that white-collar crime is perpetuated by an unequal distribution of resources and that an increase in social infrastructure could mitigate harm in the long term. In the case of the Trump indictment, thinking about it from an abolitionist perspective requires considering whether there is an avenue to accountability without incarceration (even though it is quite unlikely he will be incarcerated). When I think about non-carceral punishments for white-collar crimes, I think about money sanctions or increased regulation over business dealings to deter future behavior. For Trump, we could consider occupational restrictions relating to his 2024 campaign, but I am not sure what that would look like in practice. By investing less in the carceral system, we could reinvest money into agencies to implement these non-carceral solutions.
 
Added:
>
>

Conclusion

The issue of Trump’s indictment and the carceral system raises a lot of questions for me. He is someone who has, in my opinion, perpetuated harm that deserves punishment. On the other hand, I do not think the criminal legal system as it stands should exist, leaving me in a gray area regarding what to do with the former President. There is no right answer, especially since abolitionism is a constantly evolving school of thought, but I think it is important to think about how it applies to instances like this. Moving towards a world without prisons means a world without prisons for everyone, including the wealthy, so we need to start to think about what that means.
 

IlanaDuttonSecondEssay 1 - 04 Apr 2023 - Main.IlanaDutton
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META TOPICPARENT name="SecondEssay"

It is strongly recommended that you include your outline in the body of your essay by using the outline as section titles. The headings below are there to remind you how section and subsection titles are formatted.

Thinking About Trump's Indictment from an Abolitionist Perspective

-- By IlanaDutton - 04 Apr 2023

On April 4th, 2023, former-President Trump was indicted in Manhattan

Trump's Indictment

Subsection A

Subsection B


Abolition

Subsection A

Reconciling the Perspectives


You are entitled to restrict access to your paper if you want to. But we all derive immense benefit from reading one another's work, and I hope you won't feel the need unless the subject matter is personal and its disclosure would be harmful or undesirable. To restrict access to your paper simply delete the "#" character on the next two lines:

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