Scapegoating Non-citizens Produces Few Measurable National Security Gains

Recently the Washington Post and the NY Times published stories investigating 83 immigrant deaths in detention between 2003 and 2008. Some of the deaths were easily preventable. Family members told of loved ones suffering serious medical problems that went ignored and untreated until it was too late.

Via the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), I got word last week that Senators Lieberman, Brownback, Kennedy, and Hagel had introduced legislation to ensure humane treatment for asylum seekers and other detained immigrants. The "Secure and Safe Detention and Asylum Act" (S. 3114) would mandate improved medical care in detention and require careful reporting and investigation of all deaths that occur in detention facilities. Passing this act would be a helpful first step in addressing the problems that have come to light, but would represent only a beginning, not an end point.

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