US immigration policies aimed at identifying and deporting undocumented immigrants are often problematic. Research consistently shows that such policies lead to widespread racial profiling, indefinite detention without due process, damage to public safety, and many privacy and civil rights violations.
But the trend toward documentation extends beyond the immigrant community. The FBI has developed NextGen, a national biometric identification system for all Americans, regardless of citizenship or immigration status. The Department of Homeland Security is overseeing the implementation of a Real ID, which will force states bring their driver’s licenses into compliance with federal standards, in effect creating a national I.D. card and database. DHS also oversees e-Verify, a national database employers can check to see if someone is legally allowed to work in the U.S., thereby creating the situation that people need the federal government’s permission to work.
The emphasis on documentation puts the federal government directly at the center of our lives, and the vast databases of our personal information creates significant privacy and security risks.
Defending Rights & Dissent Urges Support For Federal Immigrant Release for Safety and Security Together Act
Last week, during the Defending Rights & Dissent/The Nation’s town hall on Civil Liberties and COVID-19, our board member and Project Souths’ Legal & Advocacy Director Azadeh Shahshahani gave a harrowing account of conditions inside ICE detention in Georgia. She also talked about the inspiring organizing activists were doing to end them. When I asked her during the town hall what can those watching at home could do, she urged everyone to contact Congress about the FIRST Act.
ICE agents are force-hydrating at least five asylum seekers from India detained at Jena-LaSalle Detention Facility in Jena, Louisiana and force-feeding three men at the El Paso Processing Center in El Paso, Texas. The eight men have been on prolonged hunger strike, some nearing two months without eating.
In a letter to DHS, 40 civil society gro
Immigrants’ rights groups file a complai
2 Indian asylum seekers were deported, one on his 63rd day of hunger strike; 2 men remain on hunger strike, 68 days