Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Counting My Blessings: Due Process

This week one of my friends was detained by the department of Immigration and Naturalization Services. He's in the United States legally and has all the proper paperwork. He had applied for permanent residency status, so when INS sent a letter saying he needed to come to a case review he was excited. However, his case review appointment quickly turned into an arrest. He's been in jail for 7 nights now, and is worried sick about his family. He hasn't been allowed to meet with his lawyer--a judge has to be petitioned for that to happen. We were hoping he would get out on bond this week, but a judge has to be petitioned for that as well. Unfortunately my friend was moved to a facility in another state today, so the bond paperwork has to be filed with a different judge now. The situation is so very frustrating because Immigration does not operate on the rules we are accustomed to. Apparently non-citizens do not have the same rights.

Tonight I'm beyond grateful for my right to due process and all the other rights I have as a citizen of this nation. But I'm also livid that my non-citizen friends are not allowed the same amount of dignity and respect.

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