The Christian Science Monitor

Long shot lawyer: Defending migrants in US’s toughest immigration court

A hazy sun rises over pine-covered hills as Marty Rosenbluth pulls out of his driveway and hangs a left on Main Street. Outside town the two-lane road dips, then climbs before Mr. Rosenbluth slows to take the right-hand turnoff to Stewart Detention Center, a privately run prison for men who face deportation from the United States. 

This is where Mr. Rosenbluth, a lawyer, can be found most days, either visiting clients inside the country’s largest immigration detention center or representing them before a judge in an adjacent courtroom. It’s a mile outside Lumpkin, a forlorn county seat that most days has fewer inhabitants than the prison, which has 2,000 beds.

Mr. Rosenbluth parks his red Toyota Prius in the lot and walks to the entrance. He waits at the first of two sliding doors set in 12-foot-high fences topped with coils of razor wire. The first time he came, the grind and clang of the metal doors unnerved him. Now he doesn’t notice, like the office worker who tunes out the elevator’s ping. 

Passing the gates, Mr. Rosenbluth enters the court annex and stoops to remove his black shoes for the metal detector. He shows Alondra Torres, his young Puerto Rican assistant who’s on her first day of work, where to sign in and introduces her to the uniformed security guard standing by the detector. 

Mr. Rosenbluth, who has a shaved head, black-framed glasses, and a two-inch gray goatee, smiles and spreads his hands. “I’ve never had a paralegal before,” he proudly tells the guard. 

Lawyers are in short supply on the ground at Stewart Immigration Court, one of 64 federal courts tasked with deciding the fate of migrants who the U.S. government seeks to send home. The prison is more than two hours from Atlanta, and lawyers often wait hours to see clients and are allowed to bring only notebooks and

Human rights crusader Courtroom coups Judges under pressureLumpkin’s lone lawyer‘This is the best’ 

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

More from The Christian Science Monitor

The Christian Science Monitor2 min read
Points Of Progress: A Lake’s Path To Restoration, And More
Conservationists have reclaimed water rights for fish and wildlife in Walker Lake, and museums are repatriating human remains.
The Christian Science Monitor5 min readScience
Astronomers Find Water Vapor On Distant, Temperate Planet
A pair of papers published this week argue that water vapor is present on K2-18 b, a temperate planet some 111 light-years from Earth.
The Christian Science Monitor4 min readPolitics
Monday Sunrise Briefs: Drones attack Saudis, UAW strikes
Catchup on weekend news: Iran blamed for epic attack on Saudi oil facilities. A big auto workers strike hits G.M. Why Dems want to impeach Kavanaugh.