Date: Thu, 13 Nov 97 13:26:04 CST
From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Peoples Weekly World)
Subject: Record number of immigrants deported
Organization: Scott Marshall
Record number of immigrants deported
By Daniel Vila, People's Weekly World
8 November 1998
On Oct. 30, Attorney General Janet Reno and Immigration and
Naturalization Service (INS) chief, Doris Meissner, seemed
to bubble with joy as they announced that 111,794
immigrants had been deported during the last fiscal year.
This surpassed the government's goal of 93,000 which had
been announced at the beginning of the year.
That almost 112,000 figure does not include the more than
90,000 persons who "voluntarily" left the country due to
the repressive nature of the new immigration laws which
have been implemented in phases this year. In New York City
alone, deportations increased by 93 per cent - up from
1,536 to 3,000.
Three years ago the total number of persons deported
nationally was less than 60,000. However, INS would still
like to increase the number of deportees. They claim that
more than 275,000 people enter and remain in the U.S. each
year without proper documentation. INS puts the number of
undocumented residents in the country at five million.
Not only does the new immigration legislation deny social
benefits to undocumented residents, it also discriminates
against those that possess legal documentation. Hundreds of
thousands of U.S. citizens who have obeyed all the
immigration laws and have been paying taxes are now denied
proper medical care and other social benefits.
One law which has been used in a particularly over - eager
manner to deport documented immigrants is the Anti-
terrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act which was signed
in the aftermath of the World Trade Center and Oklahoma
City bombings. Immigrant rights activists denounced the law
initially because it could be used to deport legal
immigrants who were not terrorists or a danger to society.
That has been the way it has been applied, since actual
terrorists have not been targeted by the law. Jesus
Collado, a 43-year-old Dominican married to a U.S. citizen,
is an example of how this law has been abused. Collado, a
small businessman and father of three children ages 24,18
and 14 who were born in the U.S., was arrested in April at
New York's Kennedy Airport when he returned from a trip to
his native country. He was held in a Pennsylvania jail
until Oct. 31.
The reason given for his detention was that 23 years ago he
committed a crime and was now supposed to be deported under
the new law. He had been convicted of having sex at the age
of 19 with his 15-year-old girlfriend, technically a crime
although the sex was consenual. He received a one-year
suspended sentence and has not committed any other offense
in the more than two decades since but this is not taken
into consideration under the new law.
Collado was not deported only because immigrant rights
organizations, relatives, City Councilman Guillermo Linares
and U.S. Rep. Nydia Velazquez intervened on his behalf.
Velazquez will propose in Congress next week a "personal
amnesty" for Collado. However, many other people have not
been as fortunate as Collado and the law remains on the
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