Magazine article Colorlines Magazine

Note from the Editor

Magazine article Colorlines Magazine

Note from the Editor

Article excerpt

I'm writing this from a motel room in Dallas, where I've just come from a long day talking with local activists and lawyers about immigration enforcement after 9/11. Texas, they tell me, is a mammoth of a problem. Where to begin? They have 200-plus counties, with the majority of detainees spread out in county jails that the state's few detention activists can't even begin to crack. The recent influx of Middle Eastern and South Asian immigrants in Dallas and Houston, along with the rising Latino population statewide, make for communities with staggering needs and vulnerabilities--inside a stubbornly conservative state where the organizing handles are few, far between, and hard to grasp. Just finding out where detainees are so they can get legal representation and know-your-rights education is a basic, unmet goal.

Hussein Sadruddin, the overworked detention project coordinator for the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights, can speak to any number of problems that need addressing: an old meatpacking plant converted into a giant human cage; local police and INS trolling for arrests at mosques and small businesses; funders that shy away from giving money to help "criminal aliens. …

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