Victims of persecution and torture should never be at the mercy of a filing deadline to gain asylum. Most asylum seekers do not realize that they only have one year after their arrival to apply for asylum. If they miss this deadline, they risk being sent back to their countries and into the hands of their tormentors.
When it was discovered that the perpetrators of the 9/11 terrorist attacks entered the US legally with valid visas, immigration enforcement came into the national spotlight. In theory, deportation proceedings are used to kick out the “bad guys” and allow non-dangerous immigrants to remain in the US; however the deportation numbers tell a different story.
A federal task force created to provide political cover for the controversial Secure Communities (S-Comm) program has instead sharply criticized the program. The task force calls for changes to curb the mass deportation of undocumented immigrants who pose little or no threat to public safety.
As legal challenges to Secure Communities make their way through courts across the country, Cook County, Illinois has found a bold and creative way around this destructive program. Last week, the Cook County Board of Commissioners voted to stop complying with ICE requests to hold immigrants convicted of misdemeanors and traffic violations.
Matthew Denice’s tragic death at the hands of a drunk driver is a crime that should be punished. But it is not the single incident upon which public policy should be based.