Lamar Smith’s bill could prevent immigrants from challenging their detention, the author writes. | AP Photo
By LAURA MURPHY | 7/14/11 9:49 PM EDT
Amadou Diouf came to the United States 15 years ago seeking, like so many before him, a small piece of the American dream. But his became a nightmare when he was arrested and thrown into immigration detention in 2003 for overstaying his visa.
Despite Diouf’s marriage to a U.S. citizen, and his productive life in the United States, immigration authorities justified his detention, in part, by claiming he had a “lack of family support.” Diouf was locked up for two years before finally being granted a hearing before an immigration judge. The court determined he was neither a danger to the community nor a flight risk and could be safely released.
But others like Diouf would not be so lucky under the provisions of a bill recently introduced by the House Judiciary Committee chairman, Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas). That bill could strip immigrants of any opportunity to challenge their detention in front of a judge and does nothing to address the serious issues of delay and lack of resources that plague the immigration court system. It sweeps broadly, and would require the Department of Homeland Security to detain a large swath of immigrants — many with no criminal history at all. (more…)
Filed under: immigrant community, Law, Law Enforcement | Tagged: Clark v. Martinez, Department of Homeland Security, Due Process Clause, H.R. 1932, House Judiciary Committee, Lamar Smith, Zadvydas v. Clark | Leave a Comment »