May 8, 2002
Letter to Representative James P. Moran
Regarding H.R. 1452
May 8, 2002
The Honorable James P. Moran
U.S. House of Representatives
2239 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515-4608
Dear Representative Moran:
As your constituent, I urge you to support and cosponsor H.R. 1452, the "Family Reunification Act." This important bill would allow legal permanent residents a fair hearing before facing deportation and to be released from detention if they are eligible.
Immigration decisions are life altering and must be undertaken with great care. Deportation can separate a person from family and from all that makes life worth living. When such a substantial liberty interest is at stake, the Constitution demands that adequate protection – due process – is provided to ensure that decisions are correct and fair. Fair hearings provide an essential check on government power.
Immigrants should not be automatically deported unless their crime carried that consequence when it was committed. It's unconstitutional to force those who committed a crime under one set of terms of punishment to be subject to new and harsher terms. By attempting to change the rules in the middle of the game, the INS is undermining the very principles of fairness and freedom that we advocate abroad.
Finally, mandatory detention is unjust. Detention of individuals is the most serious deprivation of liberty possible. Immigrants who pose no danger should not be put in jail while lengthy deportation proceedings are pending.
Again, I urge you to support H.R. 1452, the "Family Reunification Act"
I look forward to hearing your thoughts on this matter.
James A. Landrith, Jr.
Editor & Publisher,
The Multiracial Activist
and The Abolitionist Examiner