rights trashed for all

Good news! Our trusty fascist government is no longer holding most of those arrested in racist sweeps after September 11! Nope. The bad new is that we threw them out of the country without hearings or trials, ensuring they will not be able to rejoin school, work, friends, families, even wives and children.

The Bill of Rights applies to every person in America, whether citizen or not, but it has been trashed once again by the junta in Washington. None of these South Asian and Arab residents and visitors have been charged with anything relating to terrorism, and only about half of the some 1200 arrested were detained for any irregularity, notably immigration violations like overstaying a visa. All but 74 of those had been secretly expelled as of several weeks ago, and except for a small handful, those remaining are still in custody, their identities essentially hidden to the world.

[Some] expulsions of the Sept. 11 detainees have been so abrupt that family members did not know for days after the fact.

In the case of Ali Yaghi, a Jordanian detainee who had applied for residency, his American wife and three children in Albany were never told that he was deported to Jordan on June 24, after spending nearly nine months in the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn on an immigration charge.

Mr. Yaghi has not been heard from since, raising fears in his family that Jordan's security services may have been so suspicious about his long detention that they arrested him upon arrival.

Even now, Washington refuses to disclose names or to open hearings on any of the past or continuing cases. Federal lawsuits brought by civil liberties groups working through the judicial system continue to be resisted with the full authority of the executive branch.

If visitors have no rights on American soil, we have no rights either.

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Published on July 11, 2002 11:39 AM.

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