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Letters: Detaining immigrants

March 27, 2013

Re "Who belongs in detention?," Editorial, March 24

The editorial asserts, "No one disputes that immigrants who commit violent crimes should be detained." In fact, growing numbers of advocates do dispute this.

When citizens are convicted of crimes, they serve their sentences and rejoin society. When immigrants — even legal permanent residents — commit crimes, they serve their sentences and are often then subjected to the double punishment of deportation and detention by Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

If the federal government started rounding up every citizen with an old conviction and locking them up indefinitely on the grounds that their prior offenses render them a threat to public safety, there would (I hope) be a public outcry. Why should it be any different for immigrants?

The human right that protects against this kind of due process-less punishment does not begin or end with citizenship.

Emily Tucker


The writer is the policy and advocacy director at the Detention Watch Network.


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