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  1. #1
    Senior Member Brian503a's Avatar
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    Local immigrants say police, federal agents targeting them

    http://www.projo.com/news/content/projo ... 9fa3f.html

    Local immigrants say police, federal agents targeting them
    Immigrant communities in Rhode Island are feeling the effects of a national push against illegal immigration.



    01:00 AM EDT on Sunday, July 16, 2006
    By KAREN LEE ZINER
    Journal Staff Writer


    Early morning "visits" by police officers and federal agents, random police stops for license and document checks, deportation detainments at district court and other stepped-up enforcement actions are raising anxiety levels throughout Rhode Island's immigrant communities.

    And it's not just illegal immigrants who are worried.

    In Newport, legal immigrants have complained that local police officers and federal agents who failed to identify themselves, entered and searched their homes without warrants last month, interrogated and threatened them, including, in one case, a threat to make a legal work permit "disappear."

    In Providence District Court, the police are aiding federal immigration agents to detain undocumented immigrants, a practice that some legal experts call "a worrisome" and legally questionable countrywide trend.

    "There are very strong legal arguments that indicate that the federal government occupies the field of immigration law and enforcement," a field that is outside the jurisdiction of state and local authorities, said Sameer Ashar, law professor and director of the Immigrant and Refugee Rights Clinic at City University School of Law in New York.

    Against a national backdrop of stepped-up deportations and enforcement since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, and protracted debate in Washington on immigration overhaul, these actions have created a climate of fear.

    Take the case of "Mario," a legal Guatemalan immigrant who told his story at a Newport forum last week attended by public officials.

    Mario alleged he was the victim of racial profiling during a police stop.

    "He [the officer] asked me, why am I always driving on Ocean Drive?" said Mario. "He asked if I had a license. I gave it to him, and he said, 'Where did you buy this license?' I told him, at the 7-Eleven. I was offended. He's got no right to assume that since I'm Latino, I must be illegal."

    Across the country, advocacy and civil-rights groups suggest that the police are taking immigration enforcement into their own hands and that federal immigration agents are targeting people who pose no threat to homeland security.

    "I get calls every night. People are very afraid," says Olga Noguera, longtime community activist and board chairwoman for the Center for Hispanic Policy and Advocacy (CHisPA).

    "These people who are targeted are very isolated. They don't have access to attorneys. Many do not speak English," which prevents them from asserting constitutional rights that apply to legal and illegal immigrants alike, Noguera said.

    Ali Noorani, of the Massachusetts Immigration & Refugee Advocacy Coalition (MIRA) in Boston, faults the Bush administration for devoting increased budget allotments to enforcement "without trying to fix the immigration system."

    Said Noorani, "They're going after people who have criminal records and the 'low-hanging fruit' of hard-working immigrants who have overstayed their visas."

    "Targeting hard-working illegals to meet a quota is just tearing apart communities and families, he said. "Our perspective, is that ICE [Immigration and Customs Enforcement] should be detaining and deporting criminals, and the immigration system overall should be fixed so hard-working immigrants can get in line for citizenship."

    But many people applaud the enforcement and want all illegal immigrants deported.

    That includes William "Terry" Gorman of Lincoln, who this year founded the grass-roots group Rhode Islanders for Immigration Law Enforcement (RIILE).

    He believes that illegal immigration will play a deciding role in the November elections and that the current enforcement efforts are long overdue.

    "We should be fining employers that hire illegal immigrants. . . . ICE should be actively pursuing illegal immigrants," Gorman said.

    During a demonstration last month, Gorman and other RIILE members mailed 60 bricks to U.S. Representatives Patrick Kennedy and Jim Langevin.

    "We asked they use the bricks to start building the wall across our Southern border. We think that's the only true start to immigration reform."

    Gorman said his group was met by protesters "who called us racists."

    Taking it seriously

    The Immigration and Customs Enforcement arm of the Department of Homeland Security does not discuss ongoing investigations, says spokeswoman Paula Grenier in Boston.

    As such, Grenier declined to confirm whether ICE agents had led a June investigation discussed at two Newport forums -- one last week and another three weeks ago -- sponsored by the Immigrants in Action Committee of Saint Teresa de Avila Church in Providence. The forums were held at St. Joseph Church.

    Juan Garcia, head organizer of the Immigrants in Action Committee, said that "at least seven people" have come forward to report visits by police officers and ICE agents in that time frame, but most were too afraid to speak publicly.

    At the first forum, a legal Salvadoran immigrant who gave his name as Juan, said that six men, two of whom he believed to be Newport police officers and the others ICE agents, conducted a warrantless search of his apartment and threatened him and his wife on June 1.

    He said that an officer whom he believed to be a Newport detective played a key role in an interrogation, aimed at finding an acquaintance of Juan's named Edgardo. Juan's wife bolstered that account at the second forum last week.

    Through an interpreter, Juan said the officer "pushed me into the chair and told me to stay there and questioned me for 90 minutes. He was screaming at me." The officer then forced him into an unmarked van to search for Edgardo.

    The wife said during Tuesday's forum that the officer "looked like he was going to hit" her husband, threatened to handcuff him, and said if he refused to say where Edgardo was, "we're going to take you and your children away from here."

    In response, Newport Acting Police Chief Michael McKenna has launched an internal investigation and is taking steps to allay community fears and distrust. That includes naming a new community liaison and purchasing software that can help overcome language barriers, McKenna said.

    "I'm looking into the matter and taking it seriously," said McKenna. He plans to meet with the couple by next week, along with an internal affairs lieutenant and a newly appointed community liaison, Sgt. William Fitzgerald.

    McKenna furnished a report that confirms Officers Christopher Branco and Maurice Sellers assisted ICE and U.S. Secret Service agents on June 1.

    The report states that Branco and Sellers "stood by with the U.S. Secret Service and INS [actually ICE], as they checked addresses on Clinton Ave. and Vernon Ave."

    "Officer Sellers and I did not take any action as INS [ICE] conducted their investigations," Branco wrote. The investigation ended at 8:10 a.m., and "we cleared the scene."

    Steven Brown, executive director of the Rhode Island Affiliate of the American Civil Liberties Union, last week wrote a letter to Mayor John Trifero and public safety director Edward Lavallee urging that officials "establish a departmental policy of keeping city police out of the business of enforcing, or assisting in the enforcement of civil immigration law."

    To allow otherwise, Brown wrote, "inevitably has a severe impact on the civil rights and civil liberties of immigrant communities."

    ICE in court

    Chief Rhode Island District Court Judge Albert E. DeRobbio last week confirmed that during the past few years, an ICE agent "from time to time would come into the courthouse -- not at my invitation, but he would come in."

    "It's my understanding that procedurally, the police departments will send them a list of arraignments that they have in the morning." The agents apparently run those names through a computer database and detain those who have illegal status, he said.

    DeRobbio said he learned that the agent is out of the country for at least six months. The judge said he is currently unaware of any other ICE agents in the courthouse.

    East Providence lawyer Roberto Gonzalez said he has represented several clients who were detained by ICE agents in the district court's courtrooms. Typically, many are illegal immigrants who have been picked up for driving without a license, he said.

    Mary Bauer, director of the Immigrant Justice Project of the Southern Poverty Law Center in Alabama, called that practice "scary and chilling."

    Bauer was unaware of any prohibition against such a practice, but to do so defeats a justice system that allows undocumented immigrants "to bring claims and assert their legal rights in court," she said.

    Arrest in Cranston

    Handcuffed first -- questioned later.

    That's what Moises Cortes said happened to him and his cousin last fall in Cranston during an arrest that he said smacks of racial profiling. His account, while unverified, also raises serious questions about due process.

    Both men are here illegally from Guatemala. Their case underscores the debate over what to do about some 11 million undocumented immigrants in the United States.

    Deport them all, as congressional conservatives suggest? Or put those with no criminal history and who are otherwise eligible on a path to citizenship?

    Cortes alleged that on the day in question, he and his cousin drove into the Ocean State Job Lot parking lot on Reservoir Avenue. An unmarked car pulled up next to them, and two ICE agents ordered them out of the car.

    The agents searched the car, he said. Without advising him and his cousin of their rights or asking for ID, "they handcuffed us right there at the plaza. They just grabbed us and took us."

    "They said, 'You guys are Hispanic -- you don't have the right to be here' " in the United States, Cortes alleged.

    The agents took Cortes and his cousin to the ICE office on Dyer Street in Providence, and ordered them to strip, Cortes said.

    "They were looking for tattoos. They asked us if we were in a gang." When the agents saw they had no tattoos, "they said we were OK."

    Cortes faces deportation. Since he arrived in 2005, Cortes said, he has been working in construction and staying out of trouble. He said the agents refused to tell him and his cousin why they were targeted for arrest.

    Grenier, the Boston ICE spokeswoman, could not address the specifics of that arrest, but said that if anyone has allegations of mistreatment by ICE employees, "they need to bring them to this agency."

    Cortes said he cannot afford a lawyer. Given his work ethic and clean record, he said, "I need the judge to be merciful, and hope I can have my due process."

    kziner@projo.com / (401) 277-7375
    Support our FIGHT AGAINST illegal immigration & Amnesty by joining our E-mail Alerts at http://eepurl.com/cktGTn

  2. #2
    Senior Member CheyenneWoman's Avatar
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    Here it starts - the sob stories. It is sad that legal immigrants should be harassed, but I have a question:

    "These people who are targeted are very isolated. They don't have access to attorneys. Many do not speak English," which prevents them from asserting constitutional rights that apply to legal and illegal immigrants alike, Noguera said.
    Where do constitutional rights apply to illegals. If the legals can't speak English, I would strongly recommend that they learn. After all, they are legal here. Right?

  3. #3
    MW
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    Senior Member MW's Avatar
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    "He [the officer] asked me, why am I always driving on Ocean Drive?" said Mario. "He asked if I had a license. I gave it to him, and he said, 'Where did you buy this license?' I told him, at the 7-Eleven. I was offended. He's got no right to assume that since I'm Latino, I must be illegal."
    The wife said during Tuesday's forum that the officer "looked like he was going to hit" her husband, threatened to handcuff him, and said if he refused to say where Edgardo was, "we're going to take you and your children away from here."
    Cortes alleged that on the day in question, he and his cousin drove into the Ocean State Job Lot parking lot on Reservoir Avenue. An unmarked car pulled up next to them, and two ICE agents ordered them out of the car.

    The agents searched the car, he said. Without advising him and his cousin of their rights or asking for ID, "they handcuffed us right there at the plaza. They just grabbed us and took us."

    "They said, 'You guys are Hispanic -- you don't have the right to be here' " in the United States, Cortes alleged.

    The agents took Cortes and his cousin to the ICE office on Dyer Street in Providence, and ordered them to strip, Cortes said.

    "They were looking for tattoos. They asked us if we were in a gang." When the agents saw they had no tattoos, "they said we were OK."
    Are we really suppose to believe everything these illegals say? After all, it is the word of a law breaker against that of the arresting officers. Let's see some proof or shut the he$$ up!

    "The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing" ** Edmund Burke**

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  4. #4
    Senior Member Reciprocity's Avatar
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    Re: Local immigrants say police, federal agents targeting th

    Quote Originally Posted by Brian503a
    http://www.projo.com/news/content/projo_20060716_newimm16.169fa3f.html

    Local immigrants say police, federal agents targeting them
    Immigrant communities in Rhode Island are feeling the effects of a national push against illegal immigration.



    01:00 AM EDT on Sunday, July 16, 2006
    By KAREN LEE ZINER
    Journal Staff Writer


    Early morning "visits" by police officers and federal agents, random police stops for license and document checks, deportation detainments at district court and other stepped-up enforcement actions are raising anxiety levels throughout Rhode Island's immigrant communities.

    And it's not just illegal immigrants who are worried.

    In Newport, legal immigrants have complained that local police officers and federal agents who failed to identify themselves, entered and searched their homes without warrants last month, interrogated and threatened them, including, in one case, a threat to make a legal work permit "disappear."

    In Providence District Court, the police are aiding federal immigration agents to detain undocumented immigrants, a practice that some legal experts call "a worrisome" and legally questionable countrywide trend.

    "There are very strong legal arguments that indicate that the federal government occupies the field of immigration law and enforcement," a field that is outside the jurisdiction of state and local authorities, said Sameer Ashar, law professor and director of the Immigrant and Refugee Rights Clinic at City University School of Law in New York.

    Against a national backdrop of stepped-up deportations and enforcement since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, and protracted debate in Washington on immigration overhaul, these actions have created a climate of fear.

    Take the case of "Mario," a legal Guatemalan immigrant who told his story at a Newport forum last week attended by public officials.

    Mario alleged he was the victim of racial profiling during a police stop.

    "He [the officer] asked me, why am I always driving on Ocean Drive?" said Mario. "He asked if I had a license. I gave it to him, and he said, 'Where did you buy this license?' I told him, at the 7-Eleven. I was offended. He's got no right to assume that since I'm Latino, I must be illegal."

    Across the country, advocacy and civil-rights groups suggest that the police are taking immigration enforcement into their own hands and that federal immigration agents are targeting people who pose no threat to homeland security.

    "I get calls every night. People are very afraid," says Olga Noguera, longtime community activist and board chairwoman for the Center for Hispanic Policy and Advocacy (CHisPA).

    "These people who are targeted are very isolated. They don't have access to attorneys. Many do not speak English," which prevents them from asserting constitutional rights that apply to legal and illegal immigrants alike, Noguera said.

    Ali Noorani, of the Massachusetts Immigration & Refugee Advocacy Coalition (MIRA) in Boston, faults the Bush administration for devoting increased budget allotments to enforcement "without trying to fix the immigration system."

    Said Noorani, "They're going after people who have criminal records and the 'low-hanging fruit' of hard-working immigrants who have overstayed their visas."

    "Targeting hard-working illegals to meet a quota is just tearing apart communities and families, he said. "Our perspective, is that ICE [Immigration and Customs Enforcement] should be detaining and deporting criminals, and the immigration system overall should be fixed so hard-working immigrants can get in line for citizenship."

    But many people applaud the enforcement and want all illegal immigrants deported.

    That includes William "Terry" Gorman of Lincoln, who this year founded the grass-roots group Rhode Islanders for Immigration Law Enforcement (RIILE).

    He believes that illegal immigration will play a deciding role in the November elections and that the current enforcement efforts are long overdue.

    "We should be fining employers that hire illegal immigrants. . . . ICE should be actively pursuing illegal immigrants," Gorman said.

    During a demonstration last month, Gorman and other RIILE members mailed 60 bricks to U.S. Representatives Patrick Kennedy and Jim Langevin.

    "We asked they use the bricks to start building the wall across our Southern border. We think that's the only true start to immigration reform."

    Gorman said his group was met by protesters "who called us racists."

    Taking it seriously

    The Immigration and Customs Enforcement arm of the Department of Homeland Security does not discuss ongoing investigations, says spokeswoman Paula Grenier in Boston.

    As such, Grenier declined to confirm whether ICE agents had led a June investigation discussed at two Newport forums -- one last week and another three weeks ago -- sponsored by the Immigrants in Action Committee of Saint Teresa de Avila Church in Providence. The forums were held at St. Joseph Church.

    Juan Garcia, head organizer of the Immigrants in Action Committee, said that "at least seven people" have come forward to report visits by police officers and ICE agents in that time frame, but most were too afraid to speak publicly.

    At the first forum, a legal Salvadoran immigrant who gave his name as Juan, said that six men, two of whom he believed to be Newport police officers and the others ICE agents, conducted a warrantless search of his apartment and threatened him and his wife on June 1.

    He said that an officer whom he believed to be a Newport detective played a key role in an interrogation, aimed at finding an acquaintance of Juan's named Edgardo. Juan's wife bolstered that account at the second forum last week.

    Through an interpreter, Juan said the officer "pushed me into the chair and told me to stay there and questioned me for 90 minutes. He was screaming at me." The officer then forced him into an unmarked van to search for Edgardo.

    The wife said during Tuesday's forum that the officer "looked like he was going to hit" her husband, threatened to handcuff him, and said if he refused to say where Edgardo was, "we're going to take you and your children away from here."

    In response, Newport Acting Police Chief Michael McKenna has launched an internal investigation and is taking steps to allay community fears and distrust. That includes naming a new community liaison and purchasing software that can help overcome language barriers, McKenna said.

    "I'm looking into the matter and taking it seriously," said McKenna. He plans to meet with the couple by next week, along with an internal affairs lieutenant and a newly appointed community liaison, Sgt. William Fitzgerald.

    McKenna furnished a report that confirms Officers Christopher Branco and Maurice Sellers assisted ICE and U.S. Secret Service agents on June 1.

    The report states that Branco and Sellers "stood by with the U.S. Secret Service and INS [actually ICE], as they checked addresses on Clinton Ave. and Vernon Ave."

    "Officer Sellers and I did not take any action as INS [ICE] conducted their investigations," Branco wrote. The investigation ended at 8:10 a.m., and "we cleared the scene."

    Steven Brown, executive director of the Rhode Island Affiliate of the American Civil Liberties Union, last week wrote a letter to Mayor John Trifero and public safety director Edward Lavallee urging that officials "establish a departmental policy of keeping city police out of the business of enforcing, or assisting in the enforcement of civil immigration law."

    To allow otherwise, Brown wrote, "inevitably has a severe impact on the civil rights and civil liberties of immigrant communities."

    ICE in court

    Chief Rhode Island District Court Judge Albert E. DeRobbio last week confirmed that during the past few years, an ICE agent "from time to time would come into the courthouse -- not at my invitation, but he would come in."

    "It's my understanding that procedurally, the police departments will send them a list of arraignments that they have in the morning." The agents apparently run those names through a computer database and detain those who have illegal status, he said.

    DeRobbio said he learned that the agent is out of the country for at least six months. The judge said he is currently unaware of any other ICE agents in the courthouse.

    East Providence lawyer Roberto Gonzalez said he has represented several clients who were detained by ICE agents in the district court's courtrooms. Typically, many are illegal immigrants who have been picked up for driving without a license, he said.

    Mary Bauer, director of the Immigrant Justice Project of the Southern Poverty Law Center in Alabama, called that practice "scary and chilling."

    Bauer was unaware of any prohibition against such a practice, but to do so defeats a justice system that allows undocumented immigrants "to bring claims and assert their legal rights in court," she said.

    Arrest in Cranston

    Handcuffed first -- questioned later.

    That's what Moises Cortes said happened to him and his cousin last fall in Cranston during an arrest that he said smacks of racial profiling. His account, while unverified, also raises serious questions about due process.

    Both men are here illegally from Guatemala. Their case underscores the debate over what to do about some 11 million undocumented immigrants in the United States.

    Deport them all, as congressional conservatives suggest? Or put those with no criminal history and who are otherwise eligible on a path to citizenship?

    Cortes alleged that on the day in question, he and his cousin drove into the Ocean State Job Lot parking lot on Reservoir Avenue. An unmarked car pulled up next to them, and two ICE agents ordered them out of the car.

    The agents searched the car, he said. Without advising him and his cousin of their rights or asking for ID, "they handcuffed us right there at the plaza. They just grabbed us and took us."

    "They said, 'You guys are Hispanic -- you don't have the right to be here' " in the United States, Cortes alleged.

    The agents took Cortes and his cousin to the ICE office on Dyer Street in Providence, and ordered them to strip, Cortes said.

    "They were looking for tattoos. They asked us if we were in a gang." When the agents saw they had no tattoos, "they said we were OK."

    Cortes faces deportation. Since he arrived in 2005, Cortes said, he has been working in construction and staying out of trouble. He said the agents refused to tell him and his cousin why they were targeted for arrest.

    Grenier, the Boston ICE spokeswoman, could not address the specifics of that arrest, but said that if anyone has allegations of mistreatment by ICE employees, "they need to bring them to this agency."

    Cortes said he cannot afford a lawyer. Given his work ethic and clean record, he said, "I need the judge to be merciful, and hope I can have my due process."

    kziner@projo.com / (401) 277-7375
    An Obvious Dis-Mis Information Campaign by Illegal Immigrant Advocacy groups. If their Legal residents, they should have nothing to hide. same old crap with pulling out the Race Card. Sorry that's not going to work anymore.
    “In questions of power…let no more be heard of confidence in man, but bind him down from mischief by the chains of the Constitution.” –Thomas Jefferson

  5. #5
    Senior Member lsmith1338's Avatar
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    Ali Noorani is a low-hanging fruit that has been banged into one too many times by the tractor.

    Police have a right to stop people whom they deem suspicious and I do appreciate they are checking status. RI is loaded with illegal aliens they do not have to break the law to enforce it. They just have to open their eyes and look around it is blatant and obvious.
    Freedom isn't free... Don't forget the men who died and gave that right to all of us....
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  6. #6
    Senior Member CheyenneWoman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lsmith1338
    Ali Noorani is a low-hanging fruit that has been banged into one too many times by the tractor..
    I really like that analogy Can I use it, please, please, please

  7. #7
    Administrator Jean's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CheyenneWoman
    Quote Originally Posted by lsmith1338
    Ali Noorani is a low-hanging fruit that has been banged into one too many times by the tractor..
    I really like that analogy Can I use it, please, please, please
    I agree, that line is hilarious. Just went and told my husband too and whenever I think of it I begin to laugh again.

    We need humor these days, thanks for the laugh lsmith!
    Support our FIGHT AGAINST illegal immigration & Amnesty by joining our E-mail Alerts at https://eepurl.com/cktGTn

  8. #8
    Senior Member Dixie's Avatar
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    Whine, whine, whine and when that doesn't work lie, lie and lie again.

    Hello, we are on to you. Besides, if the Rhode Island illegal residents are not comfortable living in RI any more, they should consider moving to Massatuches. Where Teddy will take care of them.

    Dixie
    Join our efforts to Secure America's Borders and End Illegal Immigration by Joining ALIPAC's E-Mail Alerts network (CLICK HERE)

  9. #9
    Senior Member sawdust's Avatar
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    Has anyone read anything about this?

    Privatized: Secure Border Initiative Network (SBInet)

    On September 30, 2006, the Department of Homeland Security will award the Secure Border Initiative Network (SBInet), an "indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity (IDIQ) contract, estimated at $2.5 billion, for the Secure Border Initiative Network (SBInet) ... to build a seamless web of new surveillance technology and sensors with real time communications systems for Customs and Border Protection (CBP)," Joseph Richey wrote (http://www.corpwatch.org/article.php?id=13845) July 15, 2006, for CorpWatch. Included in the plan are "funds for additional personnel, vehicles and physical infrastructure for fencing, and virtual fencing for U.S. borders."

    "At each checkpoint along the path to citizenship or deportation—from desert wilderness to urban labyrinth—private contractors are expected to be hired to detect, apprehend, vet, detain, process, and potentially incarcerate or deport people seeking economic and human rights asylum in the U.S.," Richey wrote. "Five major military contractors are competing to design a system to tackle up to two million undocumented immigrants a year in the United States."

    Boeing, Ericsson Inc., Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman and Raytheon "are working on proposals that focus on high technology rather than high fences, but ignoring some of the fundamental problems of immigration," Richey wrote.

    For detailed information on the prospective contractors, see the SBINEt Large Business Directory (http://www.cbp.gov/linkhandler/cgov/too ... _large.pdf) (June 28, 2006 (112-page pdf)).

  10. #10
    Senior Member CheyenneWoman's Avatar
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    "At each checkpoint along the path to citizenship or deportation—from desert wilderness to urban labyrinth—private contractors are expected to be hired to detect, apprehend, vet, detain, process, and potentially incarcerate or deport people seeking economic and human rights asylum in the U.S.,"Richey wrote. "Five major military contractors are competing to design a system to tackle up to two million undocumented immigrants a year in the United States. Five major military contractors are competing to design a system to tackle up to two million undocumented immigrants a year in the United States."
    Oh, this ought to be interesting. This oughtta work as well as "privatized" prisons, methinks


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