August 13, 2004

Editorial

The Erosion of Our Constitutional Rights Continues

Under the guise of terrorist threats the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced that starting August 24th border patrol agents would have the power to expeditiously remove and deport illegal aliens caught within 100 miles of the Mexican or the Canadian borders and who have been here less than 14 days.

The primary reason given for this new policy is that the immigration court system is sluggish and cumbersome. Instead of addressing this issue, the DHS decided that it is easier to ignore all of our nations laws, policies, the Constitution, and without any judicial proceedings have their agents act as policemen and judges and deport the supposed illegal aliens with any due process. The so call Department of Homeland Security (DHS) ignores the fact that the determination of being illegal or legal is a determination that has to be proven in a court of law.

Who will determine who is illegal? Will it be a sweeping determination? From documented experience, even with the court system intact, gross errors have been made in deportation cases where legal residents have been summarily sent across the border. This in essence necessitates a court process that limits these types of errors from happening. This new policy we are told will not apply to Mexicans, (DHS doesn’t want to alienate the Mexican-American vote), nor the Canadians. This new policy does absolutely nothing to address the problem of securing our borders from terrorists. If they are already in the country, and then they happen to get arrested, how does this protect our society?

But the biggest problem with this policy will be the efforts of the present Administration continued attempts to erode our Constitution and Civil rights of all persons of the United States. The Constitution and Bill of Rights is the template, the blueprint, by which our government runs and determines our laws. Slowly but surely the Constitution is being eroded to satisfy the demands of the right wing/Republican segment of our society.

If there is going to be changes to the Constitution then it should be by the amendment process as defined. Least the current “Cowboys” in Washington forget, the Constitution cannot be AMENDED OR CHANGED WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE LEGISLATURE, AND THE APPROVAL OF THE NATION’S STATE HOUSES AND VOTERS. The newly created Homeland Security Department, acting independently, is taking upon itself vast powers, it does not have!

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