04 April 2008 ~ 0 Comments

The Illegal "Operation Return to Sender"

Or "Why You Should be Worried too Part 4…" 

The US Immigration and Customs Enforcement is finally facing a lawsuit for warantless and abusive intrusion and questioning of suspected "illegal aliens." Ten immigrant families, four of whom are lawful residents, have come together in a class action suit to remind the ICE that warantless searches are illegal and unconstitutional, and certainly not a great way to promote the rule of law.

Regardless of citizenship status, a federal agent has no right to question people about their citizenship in a private setting without a warrant. You want to knock on random doors past midnight, shove a gun into a woman's chest telling her to "go back home," use abusive language and demand them to show you their papers? Well, you better have some official papers to show too in order to get away with that rampant abuse of due process rights.

This is not the first lawsuit the ICE is facing due to illegal operations to round-up "illegals" (how ironic). The Puerto Rican Legal Defense and Education Fund also filed a lawsuit against the ICE last year on behalf of immigrant families. 

Seton Hall School of Law reports that out of the 2079 people arrested in New Jersey last year, 87 percent had no criminal record. What is even more ironic about "Operation Return to Sender" is that less than one third of people rounded up and detained have actually been deported. The immigrant families that were raided are contending that ICE agents were given quotas to fill without proper training or legal authorization.

What is even more crazy than illegally rounding up "illegal aliens" is illegally questioning, raiding, and detaining American citizens. A lawyer at the Seton Hall School of Law asserts that "Our complaint shows that what happened to our plaintiffs in the middle of the night was not exceptional. It was part of a routine, widespread practice, condoned at the highest levels of government, that tramples the rights of citizens and non-citizens alike." You should definitely be worried too.

I will leave you with this famous and influential poem by
Pastor Martin Niemoller:

    First they came for the Communists, and I didn’t speak up,
    because I wasn’t a Communist.

    Then they came for the Jews, and I didn’t speak up,
    because I wasn’t a Jew.

    Then they came for the Catholics, and I didn’t speak up,
    because I was a Protestant. (See above)

    Then they came for me, and by that time there was no one left
    to speak up for me. 

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