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Hey, You Huddled Masses? Get in Line!


More like a prayer than anything said at any presidential prayer breakfast was Emma Lazarus‘s The New Colossus, etched on the base of the Statue of Liberty. You know, give me your tired, your poor, your homeless, all youse people “yearning to breathe free.” Under Bush, however, it’s turned into Operation Stand in Line. A new report from the Century Foundation details BushCo’s Draconian immigration policies—read the story or the report’s immigration chapter. On page 100 of the report, Georgetown professor T. Alexander Aleinikoff notes that there’s currently a backlog of 6 million immigration cases, including 1.2 million applications for green cards. Has the shifting of immigration authority to the Department of Homeland Security helped us be more secure? Aleinikoff says, “It is difficult to conclude, at this point, that the transfer of immigration functions to DHS has significantly aided in the nation’s fight against terrorism.”

People with old non-threatening convictions, like Norwegian dope-grower Kari Rein of Oregon, are being kicked out, as Counterpunch points out in a trenchant article on mass expulsions (63,000 and counting). For more on Rein’s case, which hasn’t penetrated to the East Coast, check out the Eugene Register-Guard. And read Aleinikoff’s piece in the April 2001 American Prospect.

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