Archive for the ‘Immigration’ Category

Egyptian to be Released

16 February 2007

Mohammad Mahjoub, who has been held in Canada since 2000 without charges, will be released on certain conditions soon, according to the Herald Sun. He will have to wear an electronic monitoring device, live with his wife in Toronto, and post a bond of 32, 500 Canadian dollars (about 28,000 US dollars), among other conditions.

Mahjoub was one of six men detained on the basis of security certificates, which allow Ottawa to detain foreigners for years without charges. The security certificates, which have been part of Canada’s immigration law since 1978, also allow secret court hearings, undisclosed evidence, and infinite incarcerations. Canada’s Supreme Court is currently reviewing their use.

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Congressman Warns Constituents of Elected Muslims

22 December 2006

In one of the odder arguments against immigration, Virgil Goode told his constituents that, without stricter immigration policy, more Muslims will be elected to office, according to the Los Angeles Times. Representative Virgil H. Goode Jr. (R-VA) sent a letter to hundreds of the people he represents, telling them that “The Muslim representative from Minnesota was elected by the voters of that district, and if American citizens don’t wake up and adopt the Virgil Goode position on immigration, there will likely be many more Muslims elected to office and demanding the use of the Koran.” It was in response to letters from people regarding Representative-elect Keith Ellison, a Muslim Democrat in Minnesota who became the first Muslim elected to congress.

At his swearing in ceremony, Mr. Hoode probably demanded to use the Bible.

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ACLU-SC Challenges Detention of Immigrants

16 October 2006

The Southern Californian branch of the ACLU is challenging the detention of four immigrants, according to a press release. None of the four have received so much as a hearing to decide if their detention is justified. One of them is a refugee who feared persecution from Inodnesia’s government due to his religion: “I came to this country because it is a land of human rights and freedom, but now I have been inside this jail for two years, even though I have never committed any crime,” Rev. Soeoth said. “This is very hard for my wife and for my parish. I hope the government will let me out.”

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Immigration Bills Threaten Civil Liberties

21 September 2006

Two anti-immigration laws, H.R. 6094, the Community Protection Act, and H.R. 6095, the Immigration Law Enforcement Act, pose a threat to the civil liberties of both immigrants and Americans with citizenship, according to the ACLU. Both of them are being voted on today.

The Community Protection Act would expand the practice of indefinite detention, even though the Supreme Court has twice ruled that the practice raises constitutional issues. The Immigration Law Enforcement Act would allow low-level immigration officials to deport people instead of judges. Even the current deportation system has resulted in deportation of genuine refugees and U.S. citizens, so an expansion of that practice would likely not be helpful.

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Students’ Free Speech Supressed

26 August 2006

The ACLU of Southern California submitted a friend of the court brief with the California Court of Appeal in support of free speech for student journalists, according to their website. Andrew D. Smith, a former high school student at Novato High School and current Marine had two articles for the student newspaper, the Buzz, censored due to his views on immigration. The articles had been approved but copies of The Buzz were later confiscated after parents complained, saying it violated school policy.

The articles were related to matters of public concern and therefore deserving of protection, according to the ACLU-SC. The implications of this censorship are not minor, as it could result in future student censorship.

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Anti-Immigration Law in Pennsylvania Town

18 August 2006

An anti-immigration law in the town of Hazelton, Pennsylvania would punish residents for doing any kind of business with many immigrants in the town, including those there legally, as well as make English the official language there, according to the ACLU. The ACLU, along with several other groups, have filed a lawsuit against it.

Under the ordinance, many immigrants would be classified as “illegal,” even some who have been naturalized and lived in the US for many years. Landlords renting to these immigrants would be punished for it with fines up to $1,000 dollars each day. Business owners hiring “illegal” immigrants would risk having their licenses suspended, even if they dodn’t know the person was “illegal.” It would also be illegal to sell anything to such immigrants, including dangerous merchandise like food. Additionally, city documents would have to be written in no other language than English, unless federal law requires it, and documents from residents to city officials would have to be in English, which makes it literally impossible for people who dont speak English to complain about it to the city, or even to understand it.

I understand English though, and I can’t even understand it. What about the great melting pot we all learn about in second grade? Free speech? Right to petition the government? Not for Hazelton.

Ironically, the ordinance is probably illegal itself, as it overrides federal law and the federal power over immigration.

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Immigrants Waiting for Citizenship

15 August 2006

The ACLU of Southern California is filing a lawsuit on behalf of a number of US residents who have waited long amounts of time for citizenship, according to an article at the ACLU-SC website.  According to US law, one must be granted or denied citizenship no more than 120 days after completing the naturalization examinations.  Though the people the ACLU-SC is supporting have completed the examinations, they have all been waiting at least two years.  They have been delayed because of a “name check,” which is without deadlines.

All of the people are valuable members of their community.  They’re not criminals, they’re not even suspected criminals.  One even served in the Air Force, fighting for a country that won’t let him become a citizen.  That’s not being real supportive of our troops.  Another is a doctor.

It would seem that the Bush administration is fighting immigrants on two fronts, the illegal immigration front and the entirely legal front.  If you want to discourage illegal immigration, though, you shouldn’t make legal immigration impossible.

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Land of the Free, but Not for You

27 July 2006

A recent Homeland Security Department plan suggests that all legal permanent residents who immigrated here be subject to fingerprinting. They would be subjected to fingerprinting every time they wanted to come across the border again, too, so that green cards could only be used by the right person. The same practice would apply to some Canadians entering on work visas.

Back in the day, when we let more people in, people at Ellis Island had to have twenty bucks or they’d be turned back (people on slave ships were let in no matter how little money they had). They were also checked for diseases, because everyone already in America was so healthy the government didn’t want to let any foreigners contaminate them.

Now, people are being fingerprinted because their mothers were in the wrong country when they gave birth to them. They’re not healthy Americans with a healthy, American outlook, they’re scary people from somewhere else.

As many have pointed out, it is unlikely that a single member of the Department of Homeland Security is a real American. Each and every one of them is a descendent of some man or woman who came here a number of years ago and who got together with a number of their un-American friends, pushed the real Americans out west, and called themselves citizens of the United States of America.

Now, these new Americans’ descendents are fingerprinting what we have termed “immigrants” because their ancestors didn’t enter the US before their birth. America may be the land of the free for some immigrants, but not for others, and not for real Americans.

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