Sunday, January 10, 2010


The situation with persons caught up by ICE in immigration detention is beyond belief, like something horrible in Dostoevsky or Kafka.

Nina Bernstein describes many horrible events in today's The New York Times.

Writes Bernstein:

"The Obama administration has vowed to overhaul immigration detention, a haphazard network of privately run jails, federal centers and county cells where the government holds non citizens while it tries to deport them.

"But as the administration moves to increase oversight within the agency, the documents show how officials — some still in key positions — used their role as overseers to cover up evidence of mistreatment, deflect scrutiny by the news media or prepare exculpatory public statements after gathering facts that pointed to substandard care or abuse.

"As one man lay dying of head injuries suffered in a New Jersey immigration jail in 2007, for example, a spokesman for the federal agency told The Times that he could learn nothing about the case from government authorities. In fact, the records show, the spokesman had alerted those officials to the reporter’s inquiry, and they conferred at length about sending the man back to Africa to avoid embarrassing publicity."

I hope that Pres. Obama takes decisive action in reforming the antiquated and medieval practices in the Immigration Service. But I must say so far, Obama has seemed to put immigration on the back burner. He has dissed Latinos by sending in U.S. troops to be based in Colombia, and he has shown no inclination to review the failed Bush policy to the Castro brothers and Cuba. Furthermore, he has let Janet Napolitano, head of Homeland Security which includes ICE, continue with the harsh policy of immigration raids on workers suspected of being without proper documents.

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