Sunday, April 12, 2009

An American By Any Other Name...

One of the right wing's favorite memes involves them dirty foreigners, conveniently forgetting that most of us our either foreigners or descendants of foreigners to this land.

But this xenophobia can, and often does, go to far.

For example, with a tip of the crown to grumps, we have Texas State Representative Betty Brown, who made a comment that Asian Americans should have to change their names that are "easier for Americans." Even though Rep. Brown has apologized, the GOP is now trying to twist this racism into a call for voter suppression Voter ID.

Now we also see that the right's drum beat for getting undocumented aliens out of the country has led to the arrest, detention and even deportation of dozens, if not hundreds, of US citizens:
In a drive to crack down on illegal immigrants, the United States has locked up or thrown out dozens, probably many more, of its own citizens over the past eight years. A monthslong AP investigation has documented 55 such cases, on the basis of interviews, lawsuits and documents obtained under the Freedom of Information Act. These citizens are detained for anything from a day to five years. Immigration lawyers say there are actually hundreds of such cases.

It is illegal to deport U.S. citizens or detain them for immigration violations. Yet citizens still end up in detention because the system is overwhelmed, acknowledged Victor Cerda, who left Immigration and Customs Enforcement in 2005 after overseeing the system. The number of detentions overall is expected to rise by about 17 percent this year to more than 400,000, putting a severe strain on the enforcement network and legal system.

The result is the detention of citizens with the fewest resources: the mentally ill, minorities, the poor, children and those with outstanding criminal warrants, ranging from unpaid traffic tickets to failure to show up for probation hearings. Most at risk are Hispanics, who made up the majority of the cases the AP found.

"The more the system becomes confused, the more U.S. citizens will be wrongfully detained and wrongfully removed," said Bruce Einhorn, a retired immigration judge who now teaches at Pepperdine Law School. "They are the symptom of a larger problem in the detention system. ... Nothing could be more regrettable than the removal of our fellow citizens."

Ah, yes, the right wing of America and their xenophobia and bigotry: Keeping us all looking classy.


  1. Umm, earth to capper- obama's president now. Anyone illegally detained is your guy's fault. So that would make the left the bigots and xenophobes. Congratulations on being equal bigots with the right, capper.

  2. Dan-

    Reading is fundamental. The study was done in 2007. Obama wasn't president in 2007.

    Guess what, I am feeling smarter already.