Written by Nancy Murray and Kade Crockford Thursday, 29 September 2011 03:22
"Let the terrorists among us be warned," then-attorney general John Ashcroft intoned before the US Conference of Mayors on October 25, 2001: "If you overstay your visa - even by one day - we will arrest you."
Ashcroft's vow to "use all weapons within the law" against noncitizens to "enhance security for America" initially targeted Muslims.
They have been singled out for discriminatory enforcement of immigration regulations, from the post-9/11 "special interest" arrests to the present. But the search for the "terrorists among us" has had a broad reach. In March 2003, The Philadelphia Inquirer found, among cases classified as "terrorism" by the Justice Department, one involving 28 Latinos charged with working illegally at the airport in Austin, Texas.
Written by Nancy Murray and Kade Crockford Thursday, 29 September 2011 03:13
In August 2002, police were called to a home in Seminole, Florida, by a woman who said her husband had threatened to kill her. She invited them to conduct a search. They found a cache of weapons, including 20 live bombs, mines and more than 30 guns, among them semi-automatic weapons, 50-caliber machine guns and sniper rifles. There was also a list of targets - 50 worship centers across the state.
Little attention outside of Florida was paid to the elaborate plan to bomb the Islamic Center of Pinellas County, target mosques and "kill all rags" drawn up by Robert Jay Goldstein, a Tampa podiatrist. Goldstein was not referred to as a "terrorist" in thelimited national coverage and neither was there a mention of his religious background. Goldstein, who was not a Muslim, did not fit the frame.
Written by Yana Kunichoff Monday, 22 August 2011 20:39
More than 300,000 immigrants languish in detention centers around the country. Why are they there - and who is profiting from their imprisonment?
Pedro Guzman Perez speaks to his wife, Emily Guzman, by phone every evening. They speak around 8 PM, a talk filled with stories about their days, shared projects and love. Sometimes their three-year-old son, Logan, wants to get on the phone too, but usually Logan will be watching a show in another room. They have a great relationship, Emily says, and the conversations are often the highlight of her day.
There are, however, some logistical difficulties. Pedro, a Guatemalan native who was in the country on a work visa, can only speak to his American-citizen wife on the phone for 20 minutes at a time - precious little for a couple sharing the tumult of raising a three-year-old. Each phone card costs $5, and the already staticky connection is easily broken.
This is because Pedro is calling from the Stewart Detention Center in Lumpkin, Georgia, an immigration detention facility where he has been detained for nearly ten months. Many aspects of Pedro's case led him to the detention center - two ten-year-old charges of marijuana possession, one of which has since been dropped; an administrative mistake by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), to which they have admitted; the harsh record of his immigration court judge and even the patchy memory of an older woman whose answers in an immigration interview led the federal government to look into Pedro's status.
But neither Emily, Pedro's lawyer nor the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) thinks these are enough to warrant keeping Pedro under lock and key, away from his family and with tax payers bearing the cost of his prolonged detention.