January 24, 2008
"Quit Custodiet Ipsos Custodes?" *Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) deporting American-born citizens:
Thomas Warziniack was born in Minnesota and grew up in Georgia, but immigration authorities pronounced him an illegal immigrant from Russia.In 2006 alone, a human rights watch group identified at least 126 Americans caught in the nightmarish arrest, deport and ask questions later tactic, including a mentally disabled man deported to Mexico and found wandering its streets three months later. That's a small fraction of the estimated 280,000 held in immigration detention centers in any given year, but it's still 126 too many.
An ICE spokesperson states "the burden of proof is on the individual to show they're legally entitled to be in the United States". Easier said than done since immigration detainees, unlike those charged in criminal court, aren't entitled to legal representation. Coupled with the arrogant and infallible attitude some agents take who insist "they never make mistakes", the situation quickly becomes a nightmare for those unrightfully detained.
Congress should investigate and oversee what's going on with ICE, whose overzealous carelessness is fed by the anti-immigration paranoia sweeping the country of late. The conditions under which undocumented immigrants are detained are outrageous enough. When the fundamental rights of American citizens are being trampled on top of that in the name of enforcing immigration laws, something has gone seriously wrong.
* "Who watches the watchmen?" -- Satires of Juvenal
Technorati Tags: immigration, ICE, deportation, citizens, rights, congress, news
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