In the aftermath of 9/11 and the death of thousands destruction of property coupled with a weakening of our economy, do we need special rules or do we treat foreign nationals with all the constitutional protection and accord afforded to United States Citizens?
We know that life will never be the same since 9/11 and we realize that some compromises must be made to insure our protection enhanced by laws which accommodate the swift inquiries and dissemination of information necessary to abort or neutralize attacks.
Those of us old enough to remember World War II can remember the need for security but are haunted by the treatment of Japanese Americans who were shipped to detainment camps because of their ancestry.
The American Bar Association and many other legal entities have attacked the conduct of the INS and other agencies as depicted in the following news report.
Is this a dilemma, or do we need an extra code of secrecy, even if the constitution is compromised?
What do you think.
The American Bar Association on Tuesday opposed the Bush administration's secret detention of foreign nationals after the Sept. 11 attacks, urging that their names be disclosed and they be given immediate access to lawyers and family members.
The nation's largest lawyer group joined civil libertarians and others who have criticized the U.S. government's policy of secret and prolonged immigration detentions.
Of those taken into custody as part of the investigation into the Sept. 11 hijacked plane attacks, the Justice Department has said more than 750 people were detained on immigration violations.
The vote marked the second time the Bush administration's anti-terrorism tactics, adopted after Sept. 11, have provoked criticism during the association's annual meeting.
An ABA task force said on Friday that American citizens who have been branded "enemy combatants" and who are being held in this country without any charges should at least be given access to judicial review and an attorney.
On the last day of its meeting, the governing body, which sets policy for the association, adopted by voice vote a recommendation opposing the "incommunicado detention of foreign nationals in undisclosed locations by the Immigration and Naturalization Service."
It urged the protection of the constitutional and legal rights of the immigration detainees, recommending the following specific steps:
-- disclosing their names, whereabouts and charges against the detainees, and assuring them access to lawyers and family members.
-- promptly charging detainees or releasing them when charges are not brought.
-- providing prompt custody hearings before immigration judges to determine detention and bond issues, with the opportunity for appellate review.
-- conducting public hearings on whether to deport a detainee, except when the individual's safety might be threatened or a judge finds information likely to be disclosed that would compromise national security.
-- permitting independent agencies to visit the detention centers and to meet privately with detainees to monitor compliance.
A federal judge ruled earlier this month that the Justice Department must release all the names of those it has arrested or detained in the Sept. 11 investigation, but the government is appealing the ruling.
The judge rejected the Justice Department's argument that disclosing the names would be helpful to Osama bin Laden's al Qaeda network, which the United States blames for the Sept. 11 attacks.