May 10, 2001
Letter to Senator John Warner
Regarding H.R. 1266
Similar Letter Sent to Senator George Allen and Representative James P. Moran
May 10, 2001
The Honorable John William Warner
United States Senate
225 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510-4601
Dear Senator Warner:
I am writing you today on the very serious issue of the Immigration and Naturalization Service's (INS) use of "secret evidence" in legal proceedings as a means of denying immigrants their rights to due process under the Fifth Amendment of the Constitution.
INS' use of such a flagrantly un-Constitutional concept resembles the police-state tactics of such totalitarian regimes as Cuba, North Korea, China and Soviet-era Russia. The use of "secret evidence" has no place in a free society such as ours. It is not only immoral, it is un-American to act in such a manner.
I urge you to introduce or co-sponsor legislation similar to H.R. 1266, which was introduced into the House by Representatives David Bonior, Bob Barr, John Conyers, Tom Davis, Sheila Jackson-Lee, John Dingell, Patrick Toomey, Cynthia McKinney, Maurice Hinchey and Edolphus Towns on March 28, 2001. H.R. 1266, which is attached, ensures that no "alien is removed, denied a benefit under the Immigration and Nationality Act, or otherwise deprived of liberty, based on evidence that is kept secret from the alien."
If this nation is to remain a beacon of liberty and justice we must end the hideous practice of using "secret evidence" to deny due process rights to immigrants. This legislation is a necessary protection for immigrants from the more totalitarian influences of the Immigration and Naturalization Service. Sponsorship of a bill similar to H.R. 1266 would not only restore some meaning to the Fifth Amendment, it would also send a gentle reminder to INS that they work for a constitutional republic, not a totalitarian regime. Senator Warner, help us restore some accountability to the INS bureaucracy by ending the use of "secret evidence" now!
James A. Landrith, Jr.
Editor & Publisher,
The Multiracial Activist
and The Abolitionist Examiner
- Hala Maksoud, American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee
Laura Murphy, American Civil Liberties Union
Jacob G. Hornberger, The Future of Freedom Foundation
Steve Dasbach, Libertarian Party