A fourteen-or fifteen-year-old Dallas girl was deported by U.S. immigration officials to Colombia. She spoke no Spanish and they did appear not to have even checked her fingerprints to ensure she was who they thought she was. Its true, she gave a false name to local police, but there is simply no excuse for the government deporting anyone for any reason without even bothering with the basic bureaucratic steps it supposedly has in place to prevent such injustices. But of course, the fingerprint system is not there to protect people from government overreach; its there to empower the state.
I wonder how so many Americans can actually fear immigrantslegal or illegalmore than the state and its vast powers that are needed to crack down on them. There are millions of illegals living in the U.S., and to expel them, or even stop the entrance of millions more, would require a police state likely far greater than anything seen in American history. Already, the U.S. detains suspected aliens without real due process. Many have died in administrative custody. The Obama administration, far from ushering in a more liberal era of immigration enforcement, has engaged in record numbers of deportations. Obama is on track to deport more people in his first term than his predecessor did in two. Yet this does not satisfy those who strangely think that the current administration has been soft on immigration. What would? How many more American teenagers are we willing to see sent to foreign countries where they dont know the language? How many more poor people are we willing to see die in custody? How many businesses turned upside down in the name of interfering with an employers and employees God-given right to make a mutually beneficial deal regardless of where they were born? The collateral damage in a war on illegal immigrationone that would satisfy those who want to see the federal government really do something about the problemwould be on such a grand scale of horror, the atrocities mounting up every day, that I shudder to think about it.
Liberty means liberty for all. We can choose between an unbridled state, lawless government, peaceful people crushed under the weight of an American dystopian bureaucracy, or we can choose to restore the freedom for people who want to come here that existed almost fully before the Progressive Era. That is the choice.
|Anthony Gregory is a Research Fellow at the Independent Institute. His articles have appeared in the Christian Science Monitor, Bloomberg BusinessWeek, San Diego Union-Tribune, Portland Oregonian (AZ), Contra Costa Times, The Star (Chicago, IL), Washington Times, Salt Lake Tribune, Tallahassee Democrat, Albany (NY) Times Union, Raleigh News and Observer, Florida Today, and other newspapers.|
THE POWER OF HABEAS CORPUS IN AMERICA: From the Kings Prerogative to the War on Terror
As perhaps the most important legal protection, habeas corpus has a rich history from medieval England to modern America involving opportunistic power plays, political hypocrisy, ad hoc jurisprudence, and many failures in effectively securing individual liberty.