1996 LAWS DENY NONCITIZENS BASIC RIGHTS
A longtime legal U.S. resident is deported for shoplifting. A young mother, married to a U.S. citizen, is jailed for a bureaucratic snafu ten years ago. These are the stories that prove due process is disappearing. The punishment needs to fit the crime.
Enforcing national security while preserving civil liberties is a delicate balancing act and it’s one that the U.S. Government is consistently failing to do. The laws expand the grounds of deportation, subjecting long-term immigrants to mandatory detention and automatic deportation for relatively insignificant crimes such as shoplifting. And because these laws are being applied retroactively, many immigrants have been expelled for first offenses and youthful indiscretions that occurred, in some cases, many decades ago.
The assault on due process and civil liberties for noncitizens continues. For more information, go to www.aila.org.
David Leopold, Immigration Attorney
Kathleen Walker, AILA President
Lawyers and Detainees