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Immigration Contradiction

La Opinin, Posted: Jan 10, 2009

LOS ANGELES -- It is outrageous that during its final days, the Bush administration is making changes that limit immigrant rights, according to an editorial in La Opinin. The malice with which definitions are manipulated by authorities to persecute immigrants is even worse, editors write.

The collection of DNA samples from persons detained by immigration authorities and those arrested for federal crimes went into effect Friday. Obtaining this genetic material puts immigrants and alleged criminals in the same bag.

Yet, one day earlier, Attorney General Michael Mukasey determined that those tried in immigration courts had no right to challenge the outcome of their cases based on their lawyers performance. At the same time, the attorney general defended the policy of not guaranteeing legal representation to those appearing before immigration judges since these are civil cases and the Constitution does not consider this right under such circumstances.

In short, those detained for immigration violations are treated as criminal when it comes to invading their privacy by obtaining their genetic material. Yet, their cases are considered civil when arguing that they have no right to counsel. Where does that leave us?

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