Oct 28, 2011

Immigration Crackdown: Huddled Masses, Turned Away

An OpEd by Robert M. Morgenthau, who was the Manhattan district attorney from 1975 to 2009.

NYTimes.com: "EMMA LAZARUS’S sonnet — “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free” — greeted generations of immigrants.

But today, as we observe the 125th anniversary of the dedication of the Statue of Liberty, those words, inscribed at its base, have been turned on their heads. Many of Lazarus’s tired and poor may today be found in immigrant detention facilities, part of an enormous backlog of deportation cases that grows larger by the day. Last year, the Department of Homeland Security deported nearly 400,000 people; its secretary, Janet Napolitano, recently promised to increase removal cases to “historic levels.

... A study group based at Syracuse University analyzed 187,000 immigration cases that were completed in the 10 months that ended on July 31. Of those cases, 81 percent involved only procedural, not criminal, wrongdoing.” read more

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