Thursday, February 14, 2008

Deportation and immigration

Buried lead: They're not just arresting, but arresting, imprisoning and deporting American citizens as illegal aliens.

Feb. 14, 2008, 12:35AM
Feds admit mistakenly jailing citizens as illegal immigrants


WASHINGTON — A top Immigration and Customs Enforcement official acknowledged Wednesday that his agency has mistakenly detained U.S. citizens as illegal immigrants, but he denied that his agency has widespread problems with deporting the wrong people.

Gary Mead, ICE's deputy director of detention and removal operations, testified during a House of Representatives subcommittee hearing that U.S. citizens have been detained on "extremely" rare occasions, but he blamed the mix-ups on conflicting information from the detainees.

Nonetheless, Mead said his agency is reviewing its handling of people who claim to be U.S. citizens "to determine if even greater safeguards can be put in place."

The testimony before the House Subcommittee on Immigration, Citizenship, Refugees, Border Security and International Law came after immigration advocates told McClatchy that they'd seen a small but growing number of cases of U.S. citizens who've been mistakenly detained and sometimes deported by ICE. They accuse agents of ignoring valid assertions of citizenship in the rush to deport more illegal immigrants.

Unlike suspects charged in criminal courts, detainees accused of immigration violations don't have a right to an attorney, and three-quarters of them represent themselves.

Last month, Thomas Warziniack, a U.S. citizen who was born in Minnesota and grew up in Georgia, was mistakenly detained for weeks in an Arizona immigration facility and told that he was going to be deported to Russia.

Warziniack, 40, was released after his family, who learned about his predicament from a McClatchy Newspapers reporter, produced his birth certificate.

In another high-profile example, ICE agents in California mistakenly deported Pedro Guzman, a mentally disabled U.S. citizen, to Mexico. Guzman was found months later when he tried to return to the United States.
These are just the cases where they realized they had made a mistake. There are probably dozens of other Americans sent to places who we will never hear of again.

They should stop harassing immigrants and Americans who they suspect of looking like immigrants.

North America has a long and historic tradition of being colonized by immigrants who did not obtain the consent of the former residents. That continues, but could change. Rather than letting millions of people cross the border every year, and then trying to pick them out of a crowd, how about just securing the border first? Homeland Security has absolutely no reason to exist and should be abolished if they cannot at least do that. The "Security" of the "Homeland" against another 20 hijackers is meaningless if there are 2,000,000 illegal border crossings a year. There is no point patching microholes in the side of a bucket if the bucket has no bottom. A reasonable goal might be to cut illegal border crossings 90% a year for five years, to 200,000 in the first year, 20,000 the next, and onwards down to the goal of 20. It should be possible to image every rabbit, coyote, road-runner, and chupacabra crossing the border and distinguish them from the people, who should be restrained without violencia.

One hundred thousand soldiers repatriated from Iraq on the two thousand mile southern border would provide an additional 50 lookouts per mile. The Canadian border is wide open, too.

Use a biometric for legal crossings, not passports. Just show your palm, match that to an identity.

For the people who have already crossed over, it is too late to try to stop them now. (Thanks in part to "conservatives" like Ronald Reagan.) Their status is confused. Some were born in the US to illegals decades ago, or have family members of varying status. If not citizenship, these people will at least have to be offered residency, though on terms that are not as attractive as the legal path. They need to make the legal path run more effectively, too. When I applied for permanent residency in Japan, it took about 3 weeks. I got a postcard and went to get the stamp in my passport. According to some reports, it is much more of a third-world, half-assed, shit-for-brains operation to deal with the authorities in the US. Americans seem to think government is not supposed to work, and do not fund it or demand that it work properly or humanely. It's an embarrassment for Americans.

Once they get control of illegal immigration, the US could begin to debate how much immigration it wants, of what kind of people, from where. Should the United States attempt to stop any slight population decline and aim for zero population growth by admitting immigrants to make up for it, or aim for a certain rate of population growth? Should the country favor illiterate, uneducated, undocumented or criminals from Mexico, or admit educated English-speaking professionals instead, for example? If a country like Bangladesh loses 50% of its land due to global warming, shouldn't the United States accept refugees from its carbon dioxide induced warming? How many millions of people a year does the United States want to take?

No comments: