SCHAKOWSKY REACTS TO JUSTICE DEPARTMENT REPORT DETAILING ABUSE OF IMMIGRANTS FOLLOWING 9/11JUNE 5, 2003
ABUSE OF IMMIGRANTS FOLLOWING 9/11
WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Representative Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) today issued the following statement in reaction to a report by the Inspector General of the the Department of Justice detailing the mistreatment of immigrants detained after 9/11.
Below is Schakowsky's statement:
"Last month in Chicago, I stood with immigrants from several countries from around the world who now live in my district. At this event, I committed myself to turning back the assault on immigrants by the Bush Administration. I believe that this report by the Department of Justice's Inspector General is a sordid confirmation that, unless we continue to organize and mobilize against this anti-immigrant Administration, many innocent and hard-working people will continue to suffer sustained attacks on their civil liberties and basic human rights.
"It is a disgrace that 762 immigrants were taken into custody after 9/11 and held for an average of three months, only to be cleared of any links to terrorism. In fact, not one of these immigrant detainees was charged with any terrorist-related crime. The Inspector General's report found that, during their detention, these immigrants had their civil liberties and human rights grossly violated. Many were treated to a pattern of physical and verbal abuse, were denied access to counsel, and were not charged with any crime for over a month.
"As if that alone is not bad enough, there's the question of resources. Think of all the government resources that were used to detain immigrants and to round up immigrants for Special Registration. These are resources that could have been used to protect the United States and the security of our people. Instead, these resources were not spent making us any safer or more secure, and in fact they undermine our position in the world. We say to countries, "We want to bring you democracy. We want to bring you the values we in the United States hold dear." How can we do that when we are detaining people without regard for their human and civil rights? We must stand up for all immigrants and push the Administration to make serious changes."