Thursday, August 30, 2007

News: Advocates criticize federal roundups

The Boston Globe carries another strong article today about Tuesday's raids on immigrants in Chelsea, Somerville, and East Boston. Supposedly they were directed at members of a "violent Salvadoran gang," but agents reportedly picked up other immigrants they came across, including legal residents.

The article cites Anjali Waikar, our Equal Justice Works Fellow, who points out that Constitutional protections, such as the right to refuse a warrantless search, apply to everyone in the country, not just citizens.

The article also quotes Mark Krikorian, of the Washington, DC-based Center for Immigration Studies. He says, "So what...?" Well, here's what: if basic constitutional protections didn't apply equally, everyone would need to be able to prove their citizen status on demand, wherever they want. Could you? And do you want to live in a 'Your papers, please' society?

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